On Friday, Dec. 14, the horrific, unthinkable and heart-wrenching news broke that a gunman opened fire in a Connecticut school and killed 26 people – 20 of them children. All of the children were either 6 or 7 years old. The gunman also killed his mother.
The tragedy brought to mind the first stanza of W.B. Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming.”
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
The question of why this happened can never be adequately answered. Yet there is perhaps some solace to be found in reflecting on the actions of the school’s principal Dawn Hochsprung, along with staff members and teachers such as Victoria Soto, who proved to be heroes of rare unselfishness and uncommon courage.
There are a number of ways to lend your support in the wake of this terrible tragedy. The Sandy Hook Elementary School victims, their families and other survivors will be forever in our thoughts and prayers.