Tragic national events lend way to personal accounts. Below is my story.
December 14, 2012, I was at work when a news alert appeared on my phone about what was happening at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. All the alert said was that there was a shooting but it was so early no one knew the extent of what was unfolding. My parents are both originally from Connecticut so it is like my second home. Newtown has always been the exit we took from 84 heading towards my Grandparents house.
Approaching the flagpole in the middle of town was always like Connecticut saying “welcome home” to me. If you’ve ever been in the area the flagpole is of such a grand scale it makes such a strong visual impact as you approach it. It almost appears to grow out of the ground the closer you get.
Nine short days after the indescribable tragedy I drove through Newtown once again.* This time there was no happy feelings. Even though I wasn’t connected to anyone at the school personally, I lost a piece of me that day, as did all of the country. I debated taking a different route but I wanted to be there. I wanted to show my support for the community and grieve alongside.
The amount of people in the area was tremendous. I left a card, said a prayer and spent a few moments in silence. Not only was this the special place that connected me to my Grandparents, the tragedy occurred on my Papoo’s birthday.
As I look reflect with a deeper understanding of how despicable the events of that day were I choose to focus on what love truly means. Love comes in many forms and goes beyond blood and boundaries.
*White writing this I received notification that there was yet another school shooting 10 miles from Columbine. I am speechless with how these events keep occurring and what the world is coming to.