“These are the people that a week before Christmas, just lost their Joy..” Monsignor Robert Weiss, St. Rose of Lima, Newtown, CT
The images on the evening news made me weep tonight: relieved parents hugging their children; a little peanut in her purple winter coat, surely some of the innocent victims were her exactly her size; photos of anguished faces; an aerial shot of the Fire Station containing unimaginable grief and pain within its walls. All these folks are in my prayers tonight.
The footage of the CSI team walking into the school in their medical scrubs stopped me in my tracks. No amount of training or experience could possibly prepare them for the horror they were about to face, could it? Do they normally wear scrubs, or was this a comforting gesture? To me, it conveyed the tender care being given to these innocent victims. These are the people who do the work we rarely think of. They, along with all the brave first responders are in my prayers tonight.
The futile, but completely natural, search for answers will continue. Mental illness and gun control will be hot topics. I don’t have any answers and frankly what I think is irrelevant. I do know that a few years ago, bullet proof cockpit doors were installed pretty quickly on every Jet in the U.S. Maybe, while the debate continues, the same type of door could be installed on every classroom, just as quickly.
By tomorrow, the authorities will likely have assembled a timeline of the crime. I hope they skip the computer animation of the shooter’s path through the school. The details of what these dedicated educators, and innocent babies were doing in the last minutes of their lives, in their happy, little classrooms, and how and where they died…well, it is almost too much to bear.
Next week, the magazines will hit the stands. Every one of them will contain a tragic class picture. The picture day that no one signed up for. A little life story will accompany each photo. By then, their names will be familiar to us. We’ll know about their personalities and their favorite things. We’ll know what was on their Christmas lists.
The pictures may be small, the stories may be short, their lives too brief, but of course, they mattered A LOT. I will be grateful to the families for sharing their stories with us, because tonight, while Newtown could be any town, it feels like our town, and those kids feel like our kids.
I want to hear all about these Angels’ lives here on earth.
I found the heart-shaped wreath here.