Thursday, January 10, 2013

looking back on Sandy Hook Elementary

Another catastrophic day was etched into America’s heart on December 14th 2012.Just like on September 11, 2001 we will never forget when the TV broke with the news of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary killing 20 children and 6 teachers. Sadly our hearts have heard this tale before of a deranged person going into a school and and killing innocent people for unknown reasons.
These recent events have tugged at my heart like never before. I believe this time it has hit me differently because I am a parent of a young child. I was baking cookies with my grammie and daughter when the news channel broke through the normal televised program with the devastating news. We immediately took a seat and were horrified with the events that were unfolding.
How could this happen. . . . AGAIN?
How could this happen to babies? Yes in my opinion these children were still babies.
Over the next couple of days the TV imploded with the coverage of the events, social media was filled with outrage, sadness, and varying opinions and I started to question the world that my children are going to grow up in.
The day after the shooting Robbie Parker, father of deceased Emilie Parker, 6, took part in a news conference expressing his deep appreciation for the outpouring of love and prayers and said that he does not have anger towards the killer but a deep sadness. He concluded his speech by stating how proud he is to be Emilie’s father. What a true and perfect statement for all parents about their children, for they fill our hearts with joy and pride everyday. When we become parents it is such a surreal experience, there is a piece of our hearts that is forever outside our body in our children. Parenthood brings us immense joy but with everyday that piece of our heart is growing, changing, and slowly distancing from us.
Days have passed since the shooting and it is evident that something has to change in our nation so this doesn’t happen again. There is no one answer in my opinion but rather this is a multi-faceted situation of the mental health system, gun control, and the culture of our nation. The future of our nation relies on our children. If we don’t like where we are as a culture we must look to our children and choose a different path. Do we choose compassion in difficult situations? Do we choose fear? Do we choose anger? Do we choose a pro-active spirit that engages real change in our society?
My hope and prayer is that the events at Sandy Hook Elementary inspire a call to action for this nation. Parents must become more engaged in what is important to us. We have the power for change whether it be joining the PTA, voting on various topics that impact our children, taking up petitions for change, or using our voice for what we want-we must do something. I challenge you to take action whether it be for more arts in the school, new lock-down procedures, additional resources for teachers, stricter gun laws, additional resources for menatlly-ill, etc. Choose a matter and use your voice. This post is intended to inspire a discussion about the events at Sandy Hook, the climate of our schools, and the dreams and hopes for the culture that our children will grow up in.

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