Six months and three days ago Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, leaving 26 dead before shooting himself in the head. Twenty of his victims were children. No one put this terror into words quite like Lane Filler of Newsday:
“Cars and romance and drinking and bad decisions. Staying out late and drugs and the wrong friends and the wrong music. These kids are of the world, and the world is a scary place. But elementary school children — kindergartners — are not of the world. They are of the full-body pajamas with footies, to keep everything toasty. They are of the movies in which the plucky kid always wins, the puppy never fails to find his way home. They are of the s’mores and the stuffed animal clutched close at bedtime. They are never to be left unsupervised. They are never to be endangered. They are fragile, delicate, not nearly ready for the world. But the world brought its madness to them Friday. And a nation wept as it never quite had when the guns roared in Aurora, or at Virginia Tech, or even in the hallways of Columbine.” –Lane Filler
Journalists don’t cry, Presidents don’t cry. Our country has seen far too many school shootings, and they were all horrific. Somehow, though, Newtown was different. I was starting college when these kids were born – it seems like yesterday. Life just shouldn’t be that short. Not for anyone. Six months ago our country shed tears for those children, their parents, the teachers who died protecting their kids. Let’s take time to honor them, to remember the incredible bravery of people like Principal Dawn Hochsprung, School Counselor Mary Sherlach, Teacher Victoria Leigh Soto, and first grader Jesse Lewis who sacrificed their own lives to save so many more. Jesse Lewis shouted for his classmates to run for safety, saving his friends’ lives before he was shot and killed. He was looking directly at Lanza. It’s hard for me to comprehend this kind of courage can exist within a child. So, today, cherish your own life. Remember Newtown. Choose Love.