Remembering Sandy Hook

To the Editor: Today we remember Sandy Hook. We remember those children and their brave teachers who spent their last moments in fear and pain. This past week another mass murder occurred. It went almost un-noticed in the press.

I guess we have set a new bar - 26 people have to be killed I suppose - before the story can make it past a sound bite at the end of the news cycle for that day. Is this the America we want to be?

When Sandy Hook occurred, people rose up. The gun lobby rose up as well. Our Congress caved. They caved - lets face it. They looked out for themselves, they took the easy path. And so, we seem to once again have given up the fight. Old news I guess.

Well on this anniversary, many come together to say, NO - this is not old news. For one thing, thousands of people have died since Sandy Hook. Each day brings a new tragedy from senseless, preventable gun violence. But beyond that, we will not forget the children and families of Newtown. We are here to make the statement - both to the families themselves, and to the nation - that we will not forget. Sandy Hook was the 9-11 for any parent in America. It was the moment when all of our hearts were collectively broken and the shame we felt as a nation - that something like this could happen so easily here - was universal.

Universal shame is important to not forget. The lessons of history are important to keep alive. And that is why we spend today remembering this collective moment of pain and vowing anew to keep fighting forward in creating sensible change around this issue.

Simply put, we CAN and WILL do better than this. It's summer now - folks are weary of fighting and working to no avail on this issue.

They need time at the BBQ, visiting family and taking hikes, or escaping into their gardens for some R&R. This is natural, this is necessary. But, we must keep in mind the following: this fall, a new generation of parents will drop their five year olds off at Kindergarten each day and we need to make sure they are safe. This fall, our representatives will return from time off, and we need to be there to greet them saying, "We have not forgotten," and if you don't act with courage this time around and face down the gun lobbies, we will put you out of office.

I weep again as I write this, to think of how, for me, the tragedy is something I must remind myself of each day - the act of remembering, the act of honoring those families. But for the parents and loved ones, and the community of Sandy Hook, there is no forgetting - no comfortable distance that can come with time, no sound bite or news cycle that can ever take away the moment to moment pain and heartbreak of having had their most precious loved ones gunned down at the end of an assault weapon, their bodies splattered, ripped apart and destroyed forever.

Fight the fight folks. Now is the time and if not now, when?

Dina Janis Dorset


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