“He will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness.” – Isaiah 61:3
One year after the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy, the country marks it’s one year anniversary with somber remembrance. On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, shot his way into the school he had once attended and murdered 20 first-graders, all aged 6 and 7, and six adults. Before heading to the school, he killed his mother in her bed, who had legally purchased the guns Lanza used that day (Edith Honan).
Edith Honan of Reuters reported the following:
Newtown officials say the town wanted to be left alone on the anniversary. Some of the victims’ families have encouraged those moved by the shooting to mark the day by performing an act of kindness in their own communities.
At the White House, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama observed a moment of silence and lit 26 candles to honor those lost at the school.
In Newtown, at the Washington National Cathedral in the nation’s capitol and elsewhere around round the country, bells rang in remembrance of those killed.
Some of them were rung by advocates of stricter gun control who see Newtown as a rallying call for action and refuse to let up despite setbacks. The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns says there have been 28 school shootings since Newtown.
A year after Newtown there still has not been federal legislation enacted that would help prevent future tragedies like this from happening. Legislation that would have required background screenings for all gun purchases and mental health assistance died in Congress and since Newtown half the states have soften gun laws making it easier to buy and receive a gun license than it is to vote. Shame on us for not acting in the memory of those lost at Sandy Hook a year ago today.
First and foremost, I send my prayers to the family, friends, and all of those affected by this horrendous story. Here is a re-cap provided by NBC News of what we know thus far:
“Twenty-six people, including 20 children, were killed when a gunman opened fire in a Connecticut elementary school Friday morning, a law enforcement official said.
A young man clad in black and carrying two handguns rampaged through a Connecticut elementary school Friday, killing 20 small children and seven adults in the nation’s second-worst school massacre, law enforcement officials said.
The children – 12 girls and eight boys – were all 6 or 7 years old, Dr. H. Wayne Carver said at an afternoon news briefing.
“This is a very devastating set of injuries,” Carver said. “I believe everyone was hit more than once.”
He said all the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary died of gunshot wounds and all the deaths have been classified as homicides.
Asked whether they suffered, he grimly replied, “Not for very long.
Some young survivors – all under age 10 — described the terror of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, and a massive police response that included SWAT officers going room to room to search for victims.
“I was in the gym and I heard a loud, like seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in the corner, so we all huddled,” a student told NBC Connecticut. “And I kept hearing these booming noises. And we all … started crying.
The incident — the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history after a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007 — sent crying children spilling into the school parking lot as frightened parents waited for word on their loved ones.”
I can relate on an extremely small level to those affected by this shooting. My cousin, Amanda Collette, was killed in a school shooting four years ago and I honestly think of her every day. The pain subsides a little, but when you think about their smile, warmth, and of what could have been and what wonderful things they would have accomplished you feel the grief all over again. It is a pain you have to learn to live with, but comfort can be found in God.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelations 21:4
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” -Matthew 5:4
I will update this blog posting once more information is known, but PLEASE keep praying for comfort for all of those hurt by this shooting.
- Charlotte Bacon, 6
- Daniel Barden, 7
- Olivia Engel, 6
- Josephine Gay, 7
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
- Dylan Hockley, 6
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
- Chase Kowalski, 7
- Jesse Lewis, 6
- James Mattioli, 6
- Grace McDonnell, 7
- Emilie Parker, 6
- Jack Pinto, 6
- Noah Pozner, 6
- Caroline Previdi, 6
- Jessica Rekos, 6
- Aviele Richman, 6
- Benjamin Wheeler, 6
- Allison N. Wyatt, 6
- Dawn Hochsprung, 47
- Rachel Davino, 29
- Anne Marie Murphy, 52
- Lauren Rousseau, 30
- Mary Sherlach, 56
- Victoria Soto, 27
President Obama, his voice cracking at times, said he reacted to the tragedy first as a parent.
“Our hearts are broken today,” he said. “The majority of those who died today were children. Beautiful little kids between the ages of five and ten years old.”