It was the image of parents running to see if their children were safe that stayed with me. The father whose anguish was clear as he told of his feelings of helplessness, not being able to protect his child from the gunman who took 28 lives yesterday; 20 of children, in Newtown, Connecticut.
I couldn’t help thinking of my own father running home so many years ago when a plane crashed into that home where he and his wife and two daughters lived. Running on foot, forgetting his car was just a block away. Arriving on the scene of chaos, much like the one we saw on the news yesterday. Trying to identify himself to firemen who still fought the fire from the crash; searching for a daughter who was not to be found.
We all bring our own past to bear when we are witness to a tragedy like Newtown’s massacre. The immediate shock for the families is on my mind, and they are in my heart and prayers. But, I also know that these kinds of wounds for a family have long tentacles. Long after these headlines fade, and others take their place, these parents of lost children will struggle with their grief, and siblings will miss their sister or brother every day. And, from experience, I know that even future generations will feel the loss.
President Obama brought it home when he said that there will be birthdays, holidays, graduations and all the mundane events of everyday life when these children will be newly missed through the years to come. And, as a minister said on the scene, these families have “had their joy stolen today.”
Saying prayers today for all those lost, and all those left behind.