Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Forever in First Grade

Tomorrow, Newtown High School in Newtown, Connecticut is holding its high school graduation.

Before I go any further in my blog post, I must warn my readers that some of the following may be disturbing.

If you're still with me....here's a highway sign.  It's a simple highway sign.

Let's take a short drive into Connecticut.

The name "Newtown" may sound familiar to you. If it does, this is probably why:

On December 14, 2012, a 20 year gunman killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  20 of them were first graders, and six of them were adult staff. (The gunman also killed his mother, bringing the final toll to 27.)

Those 20 first graders would have been graduating from high school next week.

Time flies, doesn't it.  Since then, there have been so many school and other mass shootings in our United States that some of them don't even make it past the local news.  

This essay written by a student who was the same age as the Sandy Hook students on that day is food for a lot of thought. 

It is said that the high school class of 2024 in Newtown has a special closeness, forged by that nightmare day and the many days after.

As for the staff:   One of those staff members, Mary Sherloch, grew up in the area where I live.  She was the school psychologist.

Perhaps that closeness growing out of grief would not have been a surprise to her.

But, we must never forget that the graduation tomorrow will be a few students short.  They were never given a chance to grow.   They will not walk across that stage with their peers, except, perhaps, in memory.

What will have become of them? We'll never know.

That is something to truly grieve for.


  1. ...yet another stain on this country's tattered history.

  2. I was working from home when this happened — my office was closed after damage from Superstorm Sandy — and I remember being glued to the tv news that day.

    I also remember that one of the children was Jewish. The Rabbi who officiated at his funeral had previously been the Cantor at my synagogue.

    So sad.

  3. 20 years... it doesn't feel that long ago. Especially with it still in the news due to the families' lawsuit and Alex Jones. While they will never put it behind them, once that's settled it may help not to see it in the daily headlines.

  4. Heartbreaking, in every way. Any memory of that horrible day makes me cry.

  5. It is shocking, but not surprising, that we have done nothing about gun control in this country. No, we are not the nation we pretend to be. Not at all.

  6. Thanks for this somber reminder. I think of this and other schools often and about what these events have done to the students who survived.

  7. As someone who just spent a lot of time with the graduating class, this hits hard. Because I understand just how old they are. (And my nephew just graduated, too, so...)

  8. I have no words, but ..feelings of horror for the massacre, deep pain for the victims, pity for their families, and support for those injured but alive.

  9. The shocking, sobering thing is that these shootings continue and still nothing is done about gun control. The right to bear arms never considered or imagined the possibility of semi-automatic firearms.

  10. What a tragedy! Confusion, depression, hatred, chaos, .... is the evil at work ready to destroy. Anyone who gives room for these seeds to flourish instead of trying to do something to stop it from getting out of hand is truly sad and unfortunately we'll always have scenarios such as this repeatedly happening. Hearts and minds need to change. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their precious little first graders and the families of who lost loved one on that day.


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