Sunday, December 16, 2012

Offering Support to Newtown

We were in Newtown twice yesterday and President Obama will be there today.

As I had written in my most recent post, we go through Newtown, Connecticut fairly regularly as a transit point en route to and from seeing relatives.

We were to have been in Newtown  on Friday morning, when the horrific tragedy took place. However, although I am on sabbatical this year, I decided it would be appropriate and interesting to attend a Faculty Meeting and I wanted to to see colleagues and staff who were being honored at the Isenberg School of Management and to recognize all that they do for the school. There was a reception afterwards in our atrium.

Our trip was delayed by a day and, yesterday, to honor the victims of the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the grieving family members and community, we stopped there in the morning and then again in the evening. We were picking up our daughter from college for winter break since her last final exam was yesterday.

In a small way, we wanted to offer comfort to those that we saw from the owners of the Blue Colonial Diner with the wreath below, to the waitresses and workers there, and even to the journalists. Last night, while having dinner there, I spoke with two Swedish female journalists who were seated at the table next to us. I immediately recognized the language since I spend so much time in Sweden. "How can anyone make sense of this?" one of them said to me. We saw the TV news vehicles with satellite dishes and many reporters. The diner was packed both in the morning and in the evening and one waitress said that she had known all the children who perished. In a small community one can't help but recognize and interact with others.

Several said to us that "Friday was the hardest day" and the weariness and pain of all was palpable.

On a bridge someone had hung up a big hand-made banner which said: "We love (in the form of a big blue heart) Sandy Hook Elementary School."