I've been finding it hard to find words to post about Sandy Hook. What words could possibly suffice? And to tell the truth, I just cannot myself begin to have a debate about anything, even though I completely understand the emotions expressed in this extraordinary reader thread. I am just numb.
The facts are also inevitably confused, rumors abounding, and mistakes in getting the details right so likely that we're simply going to wait until all verified facts are in. Then perhaps we can debate with some evidence we can rely on. That takes time.
But two videos tell us so much. The first: a montage from the local paper's photography. It's a dystopian scene – the cars piled up in the street, the simple body language of parents whose agony is simply beyond expression. The woman in the freeze frame below herself looks frozen, walking into a future she cannot yet know, her arms at her side, her face looking toward the horror:
And then this interview with Diane Sawyer with a teacher … well, such a teacher is a kind of angel:
We will find out soon enough the why and how in greater detail. But lets focus on the actions of those defending the children, their courage and tenacity in the face of the unspeakable:
Among those killed was the school's well-liked principal, Dawn Hochsprung. Town officials said she died while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him. A woman who worked at the school was wounded.
Maryann Jacob, a clerk in the school library, was in there with 18 fourth-graders when they heard a commotion and gunfire outside the room. She had the youngsters crawl into a storage room, and they locked the door and barricaded it with a file cabinet. There happened to be materials for coloring, "so we set them up with paper and crayons."
Let's focus on the actions and heroism of the victims, rather than on the easy evil of a soul gone horribly wrong. May God forgive him. But may we also remember that even amid fathomless evil and violence, love stood tall as well.
(Photo: A sign reads 'God Bless the Families' outside of a home near the Sandy Hook School on December 15, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. By Don Emmert/AFP/Getty.)