Last Friday morning when I put my kids on the bus to go to school, we were rushing. No one was ready as the bus pulled down the block and there was a lot of yelling – “Get your jacket,”, “Do you have your lunch?”, “Stop hitting each other”, “I don’t want to wear a jacket, “, “You have to wear a jacket, it is freezing,” – all of the things we go through every morning and last Friday morning was no different.
Never in a million years did I think when I sent my kids to school that there was a possibility that they wouldn’t come home.
I’ll bet that none of the parents in Newtown, CT thought that way either as they had a morning last Friday that was probably very similar to ours.
Newtown, CT very easily could have been any town right here on Long Island. We could be watching the news right now and seeing the entire world rally behind Commack. We could be seeing everyone showing support by wearing the school colors of Roslyn. We could be seeing photos of the teachers we know so well from Merrick. We could have these candlelight vigils at any of our schools in Syosset.
Newtown is not far away. It is not a poor neighborhood with a high crime rate and drug addicts laying on every corner. It is a place where people live because they want their kids to get a great education and to be safe. It is exactly like anywhere you or I live. And that makes it worse, because there is no reason that this terrible tragedy happened.
I saw an interview on television with a doctor in a hospital who said that as soon as they heard about the shooting, the entire medical staff starting running around to make sure that they had enough supplies and staff for all of the injured people who would soon be flooding their emergency room. As they readied themselves and waited, the only thing they could do is wait. Soon the gravity of the situation hit them when they realized why no one was coming.
My daughter is 6 years old and in first grade. Some of my best friends are teachers. As the photos of the 20 children and 6 adults killed in Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown are shown on the news and posted on Facebook, I can only see their faces in every one of those amazing people.
As the victims of this deranged mad man are laid to rest, we can all only hope that something like this will never happen again, anywhere.
To the people of Newtown – we are all thinking of and shedding tears for every one of your families – you, you children, your town and your hero teachers are in our thoughts today and for many, many days to come.
Over the next few weeks, we will be including ways you can help and things you can do for the families of Newtown. If you have your own ideas, feel free to leave comments or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.