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Connecticut School Shooting: Too Close for South Dakota Family

Sandy Hook Elementary
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As parents we tend not to dwell on the negative or nurse any fears that may pop into our minds when it comes to the well-being of our children.  We pray they will be healthy and happy.  Rarely do we pray that they be kept safe in their school.

The unspeakable has happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  A gunman entered  the school and opened fire, killing 26 people.  20 of them were children.  The gunman is confirmed dead and identified as 24 year old Adam Lanza, who had ties to the school.  Information is beginning to surface that his mother was a teacher at Sandy Hook.  His younger brother is now being held by police.

This tragedy also has a connection to South Dakota. Our friend and long time listener Jan Stainbrook in Milltown has a sister with children in Newtown Connecticut.

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I sincerely doubt that any of the parents or relatives of those who died woke up this morning and asked that their loved ones be kept safe from any shootings.  The children certainly had no idea.  Their heads were full of final tests, the excitement of the upcoming Christmas vacation, and presents from Santa Claus.

They were as innocent as young lambs.  They ranged in age from kindergarten through the fourth grade.  That’s what makes what happened a tragedy that no words can begin to describe. No words are able console those who grieve with all their hearts and will remain broken for perhaps the rest of their lives.

This incident is a nightmare of epic proportions.  This school shooting is the worst in U.S. history.  More died at Sandy Hook Elementary than Columbine High School in 1999.

We all wonder during a season of peace on earth and goodwill to all how such an event could have happened.  We will be wondering for a very long time.  As I write this, I reason that we all have an inherent capacity for good and evil.  It’s coded into our DNA.  We have the choice of doing good or doing evil. However, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to deeply examine what is in our minds and our hearts and then try to do the right thing.

No matter how hard we try to reason and make sense of it all, the fact remains that 20 children have died and 6 adults who perhaps gave their lives to save others are no longer alive.

The Sandy Hook Elementary incident has diminished us all in ways it will take years to comprehend.  And still, we may not ever be able to understand.  That is the saddest footnote of all to this story.

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