What Back-to-School in Newtown, Connecticut Feels Like

4 years ago

Yesterday was the first day of school, and I so remember last year, when I teased my teenagers and mockingly made a video of them heading off to that first milestone day. The most wonderful day of the year for so many working parents!

This year is different.

Social media is clogged with first day smiles, backpacks, new sneakers, and so many little faces waving as the school bus pulls away.

It must be absolute torture for all the families with no more firsts for their little boy or girl.

And it must be horrific for our Newtown teachers and staff to welcome the survivors with smiles and endless optimism: the siblings, classmates, friends, teammates, neighbors and colleagues to the 2013-2014 school year, a brand new year, filled with hope, opportunity and excitement.

And fear.


Credit: inspirekelly.

Because while many of you have forgotten what it was like on December 14th, we continue to live in the aftermath every day.

I don't blame you for forgetting; I too forgot Columbine, Virginia Tech, Chardon. I didn't know anybody who lived there. I barely gave Fort Dix, Oak Creek, even Aurora a second, sad thought once the news direction changed, and my life got busy.

I never even paid attention to smaller shootings, because to be honest, neither did the rest of America. (Except for the surviving families and friends: they'll never forget.) I guess because it's been deemed acceptable in our gun-loving culture to kill one or two kids or adults in an at-risk home, neighborhood, or "domestic" situation. But gunning down a classroom or movie theater or mosque makes the news. For a while.

Like Decatur, Georgia.

But we can't change the station here in Newtown. So many of us here in town and across the country Promise* to doing whatever we can to keep Sandy Hook in the thoughts, prayers and actions of America, so that perhaps, with time and dedication, there won't be another tragedy.

I hope you will do so as well. Please remember and share Newtown with your circle at the bus stop, at the water cooler, on the sidelines, on social media. Do something small. Do anything at all. You will be surprised at the results.

*Please commit to doing any action possible to make a positive change where you live, so our story doesn't become your story. Join a group in your community. Send an email. Be a friend. Find a cause. Share on Facebook. Hold a sign. Make a difference.

 

Kathykate (p/t copywriter, f/t mom)
Today in Newtown

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