Sunday, December 16, 2012

One of the faces of Sandy Hook

This is Victoria Soto. Victoria was only 27. She was killed to in the shootings after she hid her first graders in closets and cabinets and told the shooter they were in the gym. He killed her and not one of her children were harmed. God bless Victoria, her family and friends and all of those who were involved today in anyway. Victoria is a true hero!!
There is a popular thread that is going on Facebook with comments from Morgan Freeman about the shootings at Sandy Hook, how the media turns the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter into celebrities, how the media turned the Columbine shooter's into household names and asks how many of us know a single name of any of the victims from Columbine. 
I know the names of many of the people that were killed at Columbine.  I read the stories of their short lives and as the Columbine shootings occurred in Colorado it hit much closer to home.  Again this summer the shooting moved even closer as the Aurora theater shootings occurred a mile or two from my house.  A high school classmate of my son was killed in the theater.  I know their names and a little of their lives that were cut short senselessly. 
Now the only news that is available is over the legal wranglings, the re-opening of the theater set for January 17 next year. 
I read something yesterday from the mother of Alex Sullivan in reaction to President Obama's speech after the shootings to "hug your children tightly tonight."  I wish I could find the article, so I will have to paraphrase, "I can't hug my child, Mr. President.  My child is gone."
Less than five months after the Aurora theater shootings we are left to face more heartbreak that is magnified by the age of so many young lives lost. 
So again for me, I will read the stories of the 26 lives that were cut short and I know this will be incredibly hard.  This is not the first elementary school shooting we have been faced with.  Newton Connecticut is faced with 26 funerals.  That is just too much.  
Lowering the flags to half-staff and talking about taking "meaningful action" is not enough.  
Sandy Phillips is the mother of Jessica Redfield.  Jessica became the face of the Aurora theater shootings as she was the first person confirmed as being killed.  Jessica was a student at Metro State and her mother was in town to pick up her diploma when the shootings at Sandy Hook occurred. 
"The bad guys will always get the gun, but that doesn’t mean we do nothing. To do nothing makes us culpable and we can’t do that in America any longer, not after today, not after today.”~Sandy Phillips
 I will write every year on this blog about Sandy Hook, just as I do about Columbine and will do for the Aurora Theater shooting and I will never mention the killer's by their name. It's not enough, it will never be enough. 
What can each of us do to never forget the name of Victoria Suto and what she did for her students?

   Thank you for your courage, your compassion and your love for your students.   I want you to know that I will be forever grateful for your act of valor.  You are my hero and a hero to many.  Your life matters and I will never leave you.  Your memory burns brightly in my heart. 

  With much love, 


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