Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Between the Lines of Fear and Blame

Some Wednesdays are easier than others when it comes to writing about “Norwich politics” which was my charge from Ray Hackett, the Bulletin’s editorial page editor in January of 2010 when these musings and meanderings first saw the light of newsprint.

It’s usually pretty easy to do. Perhaps I could suggest putting a renovated Reid and Hughes building inside Chelsea Gardens by Kentucky Derby Day, but I’m not looking for a quick laugh today when I remember an event four years ago, today that didn’t happen here but at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Four years already?

Through all the means of mass distraction in the 21st Century we have long been aware of the seemingly ceaseless stream of random violence and calculated carnage in every corner of our country but with Newtown, I realized and maybe you did, too, I had never thought such a horror could happen here in our  state, home.

Even those who question the existence of God can have no doubt that evil is real and in the world because it came to a place that offered safety and security, an elementary school filled with adults who gave the last and fullest measure of devotion to save those least able to save themselves, the children.

Four years on I don’t pretend to have insights into why what happened in Newtown happened at all. All I can offer is to hold the parents, siblings, and friends of those who were murdered in my thoughts as the survivors hold them in their hearts. I'd pray for better days for them and us but hope for better days may have been among the casualties at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Newtown should remind us to examine our lives and decide what is truly important. And by that, I mean 'pressing issues' such as our rancorous presidential election, the ongoing state budget shortfall, and the economic challenges we face in our own city. All important and requiring serious and sincere efforts by people of every political persuasion working together to do what we know needs to be done.

But that’s even more true about Newtown. We see every incident of inchoate violence as an isolated singular event, rather than as larger and unending episodes of anger and rage so profound we still dare not speak of causes and solutions because our emotions are still too raw or ‘it’s too soon.’

Except, it's not soon; it's too late, much too late for six young teachers and twenty even younger children and grieving relatives who put very small coffins into the cold, cold earth, during the holiday season four years ago and who will carry until their dying day a hole in their hearts that time will not ever heal.

We’ll have other days in Norwich to argue. Today is a day to pause and hold our loved ones closer and see in their eyes a reflection of who we must become the difference in the world,
today and every day.
-bill kenny

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