Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary

I didn't post this sooner, because my feelings were too raw and roiling to feel like coming to my blog.  But I feel able to come now, and paste an article I wrote for my school's newspaper.  Usually, the students write the articles, but this time, I decided to write the article myself.

From Warrior's Voices, the newspaper of Uintah River High School, December 19, 2012:

On December 14, 2012, twenty innocent little children between the ages of 5 and 10, as well as their principal and the school psychologist and several teachers were brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  Another woman was murdered by the same perpetrator some miles away.  In all, 27 innocent people lost their lives.


When things like this happen, the initial emotions that humane people feel are shock, denial, disbelief, and grief.  Especially when innocent children are victims. 


It is impossible to comprehend the grief that the parents, siblings, family and friends of these little children and their teachers are feeling at this time.  The only way to understand it, is to endure something similar, and I hope no one should ever again have to do so.


It is possible, though, to feel compassion for them, to hope that they find some way to endure, and, if you believe that prayer has any power, to pray for them as well.  Pray hard.


Additionally, it is possible to make a commitment to yourself, in your heart, never to use violence or any hurtful behaviors, even just abusive words, to deal with your own life’s troubles. 


I want you to look at the faces of the people in the pictures on this page.  Those people are not actors.  Their fear, their grief is very raw and real.  That is exactly how the people who care about you would feel if what happened to those little children, happened to you. 



In a video game, when you shoot someone or something, it’s not a big deal, because the character isn’t alive.  It’s just a part of the game’s program.  But in real life, when someone dies, that person, who was a living, thinking, feeling individual, just like you, is gone.  Forever.  

In the picture to the left, you can see the relief in the mom who is hugging her little girl; you can see it in the way she’s holding her little girl so tightly, the tension in her hands, and in the little girl’s face at having her mom there after having such a terrifying thing happen to her.  Tragically, not every parent, or child was as fortunate.


As President Barack Obama tearfully said in one of the most outwardly emotional speeches of his presidency, "The majority of those who died were children - beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old."  Later in the speech he emphasized, “These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children.”


During his speech, he had to pause several times to maintain control of his emotions, and wiped repeatedly at tears.


Two White House Aides who were with him, were reportedly in tears as well, as he gave his speech.


All human beings have worth, whether you know them personally, or not.  Whether you agree with their ways of doing things or not.  All human beings have something positive that they can contribute to this world.   


Be as kind to everyone as you can, stay as safe as you can, and remember your own value as a human being, and the value of others.