A Very Sad Day for America — A tribute to the lives lost in Newtown, CT


imagesBad things happen and they make us sad. As Americans, it is important to empathize with others. This concept is an important one to teach to children. Today was a sad day, but also, it is a learning and teaching opportunity. Both parents and children all over this country are shaken by the tragedy in Connecticut. Our responsibility as fellow citizens is to grieve for and with those who suffered loss. Our responsibility is to help our young people learn to deal with their fear and grief, and allow themselves to feel for the tragedy of others.

I found myself shocked and stunned as the reports came in and the numbers of killed and injured grew. It just didn’t seem real or possible. What kind of world is this and what kind of society have we created where this is possible? Is someone out there going to defend our freedom and liberty ? Children need to feel and be safe at school! This is not optional!

I am heartsick for these children, adults and their families, and all others affected by this tragedy. I know bad things happen, and yes, sometimes to good people. But this is truly horrific. I can’t rationalize this fact with myself and understand why the lives of sweet innocent children should be taken for nothing. It is not in the cause of war or freedom. No one else was threatened. Someone was just crazy and had the access to firearms to act out a plan. These crazy plans seem to be epidemic recently. These children had their lives robbed, their opportunities limited. They will not grow up to be the world’s next great scientist, engineer or artist. Their parents will never see what they will become. I can’t imagine anything more devastating. As a parent, I relate. All parents relate. I can’t imagine any greater punishment than to lose a child through senseless violence. No war. No fighting for a cause. Just insanity. Why them and not me?

Take stock and thank whomever you thank for your good life and the health and well-being of your family. Have a quiet moment for the families of the victims. Then do something to make a difference. Write your congressman/woman. Write your local newspaper. Talk with friends. Use social media to make a change. We need to help those who need help and not help them get weapons which they will use on us.

The United States is a great country. We need attention to  gun violence. The needless and senseless loss of precious life is out of proportion. These are the lives of people who are here and now, who have plans, futures and families. These are the lives of those who were yet to fulfill their potential. I am angry and looking for answers. Let’s find them.

This star-forming region is dominated by the bright, young star IRAS 13481-6124 (upper left), which is about twenty times the mass of our Sun and five times its radius, and is surrounded by its pre-natal cocoon.

Categories: Uncategorized

2 comments

  1. Nice post Ruth. Coming off a semester teaching Global and Cultural Perspectives for the theology program at Duquesne, I was inspired to write an interfaith prayer… A
    I would add that we also need more programs to help identify and treat the mentally ill.

    Prayer in the Face of Violence
    by Dr. Ellen Cavanaugh
    Tragedy often lifts our face to seek comfort and understanding from the Divine. I share with you some thoughts and prayers from various faith traditions as you try to hold the victims of today’s tragedy in your hearts.
    Throughout history God has manifested his love and care for those who have suffered from violence, hatred, and oppression. We commend the victims to the healing mercy of God who binds up all our wounds and enfolds us in his gentle care.
    The Christian scriptures share the words of Jesus to his disciples: “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matt 10:29-31)
    The Jewish scriptures share God’s word through the Prophet Isaiah ““Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. Speak kindly to Jerusalem [those who have suffered exile]; and call out to her, that her warfare has ended. (Isaiah 40:1)
    Mahatma Gandhi would turn to the Bhagavad Gita for words of comfort; “O Lord of lords, O refuge of the worlds, please be gracious to me. I cannot keep my balance seeing thus Your blazing deathlike faces and awful teeth. In all directions I am bewildered.” (Gita 11:25)
    The Qu’ran carries the promise of Allah, “For indeed, with hardship will be ease.” (Qu’ran 94:5)
    May the One that surpasses all suffering and overcomes all hatred protect us from the violence of others and restore to us tranquility and peace.

    • Thank you Ellen for your heartfelt prayer. I hope that it will bring comfort to others.

      As advocates for the well-being of children, we must fight for the best interest of all. Yes, more attention to social/emotional wellness is needed and attention on what the issues are. People misuse this opportunity to advocate bans on abortions and bringing religion back to public school. Neither of these issues are relevant to this tragedy. We need to do the best for our children and that includes making them safe and comfortable so that they can participate in their education with 100% of their energy. I hope this is the tipping point for change for both social/emotional wellness and the need to revise our view of gun ownership. No one needs to have weapons of war to protect themselves or hunt. This situation is again, another example of how those weapons are used on the owner for a sad outcome.

      Thanks again for your thoughts.

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