Saturday, December 15, 2012

Newtown -- When a Horrific Tragedy Strikes a Beautiful Community

The horrifying news from Newtown on a beautiful Friday morning when children were in school, parents were at work or at home, during a season that is to be filled with peace and joy, has shocked the country and the world.

We have been to Newtown, Connecticut many times as a drive-through town en route to visit relatives. We stop and eat at the Blue Colony Diner in Newtown. What we have enjoyed in the diner is not only the delicious food, but also the warm service, and the people that we see there -- very friendly, in groups,  enjoying one another. This diner in this community has been a respite for my family on many trips.

What can only be viewed as a terrorist attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, with even President Obama delivering a very moving speech, as a loving father,  signals, in an extremely painful way, that our society is losing some of its core foundations.

We can take some solace, as we grapple with this tragedy, that, as the events unfolded, there were so many heroes at the school -- including  teachers who secured, sheltered, and protected the children.

When I saw the news I, as many others, was shell-shocked, and I immediately reached my husband, who is a faculty member at the University of Hartford.

He told me that he had been to Sandy Hook Elementary School in the late 1990s when he was the Connecticut Space Grant Director. He was there to give an award to the school's kindergarten class, at that time, for their development of a "Magic Treehouse" type set of web pages on Space Exploration. When he  visited the school,  he also brought with him a set of books on space for  its library.

Reach out to one another, especially to the innocent children, and live each day to the fullest. Do what you can in and for your communities.

Our deepest sympathies to all those who suffered incalculable losses of loved ones. We are all thinking of you and have you in our hearts and prayers.