Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Hurricane and a School

Sandy. A hurricane, that wreaked havoc on the East Coast of the United States and caused devastation, the likes of which had never been seen before. Sandy Hook Elementary School. The venue of more devastation but of a different kind, almost two months later. The irony isn't lost on most of us. 

While the country was still reeling from the destruction in the wake of the hurricane, musicians came together for a concert to help gather funds to assist the victims. December 12th. We turned on our televisions to watch. Some of us even gave. Then, two days later, December 14th brought with it carnage. A 20 year old, after killing his mother, went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot dead 26 people, many of them children between 5 and 10 years old. We turned our televisions on again. Social media was buzzing with posts about the incident. 

With a collective gasp of horror, we wanted to know more. Bits and pieces of information rolled in. News about teachers who, like mother hens, gathered their students under their wings and hid from the insanity. A teacher who told the children that she loved them, because she wanted that to be the last thing they heard. Another teacher who faced the gunman and was shot at point blank range, execution style. A president who, love him or hate him, showed his human side by holding back tears as he called for the nation to pray for the people whose lives were forever changed because of this. 

The incident sparked discussions about gun control, a topic that comes up every time something crazy like this happens. We feel so helpless and hopeless, and the need to do something about it rekindles a long-running debate about our rights versus our safety. I am not going to talk about my views here. I am only going to say that something needs to be done. I don't know what that something is. 

All I do know was that there were fathers who ruffled their child's hair and said goodbye before leaving for work. There were mothers who kissed their baby goodbye and put them on a school bus. There were parents who were planning all kinds of fun ways to celebrate the holidays with their children. Not even in their wildest dreams did they imagine that they were never going to see their child alive again. There were husbands who kissed their wife goodbye and told them to have a good day. A good day? Hardly. Some of those wives made it back home. Others didn't. 

Through this somber rambling of mine, I pray for these parents, these husbands, these innocent souls that were lost yesterday. I pray for a healing that will take a long, long time to happen. I pray that this incident will somehow bring some kind of change to ensure that this does not happen to anyone again. There is no way to guarantee that a heinous incident like this never happens, but any measure to reduce the possibility is a step in the right direction. 

I pray. Because that is all I can do.