Newtown has never quite left my mind this past year.
One child, Noah Pozner (z”l) had a birthday only one day after M.
When it happened, when I saw his picture, when I read stories about him, when I read about his mother and his twin sister and the impossible horror of it all, my heart ached for this beautiful boy who had just turned six; he was like my little six-year-old, who always tells me, “I’m not little. I’m big.” And my heart hurt for his mother. This is the transcript of what Veronique Pozner said in the video (within link just above):
“I would like to show you the last picture taken of our son, Noah. It was taken the night before he was murdered, Thursday, December 13th, before our world changed forever. It shows him holding up a lit Hanukkah candle and staring and smiling into its flame. I will forever cherish this photograph. He looks so innocent and full of wonder. He was cheated of his full potential. I can now only dream of the man he would have become.
Sometimes when a tragedy or an event of this magnitude happens and the facts are so uncomfortable for us to sit with, we tend to render into this abstract concept of memorials and angels and teddy bears. And that’s all beautiful and wonderful; that’s true. But there’s an undercurrent of an ugly reality that made those memorials necessary.
Governor Malloy did come to the funeral, I did ask him to come and see my boy. We did have a private viewing for a select view only. For me it was important to put a human face on what happened. I just felt like I owed it to Noah and to the governor, too, as a major official in the state to bear eyewitness testimony to the ravage of that event. How it just destroyed not only innocent lives but of course, there’s tons of collateral damage, right, when you talk about an event like this. It’s like a ripple effect in a pond. When you throw a stone in, the stone sinks and the ripples just expand. And it just – it was like a mushroom cloud that went off in my family. It went off in the community. And we’re every day suffering the effects of it.
The only way that I feel that I can bring some purpose to it is by speaking out on the issue of gun control. The very fact that an individual close to a permit holder can gain access to these type of weapons and use them as tools of mass carnage demonstrates that such weapons have no place in our society. Noah, and the 25 other victims whose lives ended tragically that day, were stripped of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
This is not about the right to bear arms. It is about the right to bear weapons with the capacity for mass destruction. We’re talking about a .223 caliber that is designed to penetrate a steel helmet on a battlefield, that was modified for that purpose, or to take down a 250, 200 pound deer, going into 40 pound children. You know, do these weapons have a place in our society? I say they don’t. Who am I? Well not anyone other than a mother who lost a child.”
I found this picture of “WE ARE NEWTOWN” on the Healing Newtown Facebook page. It was posted with this comment:
“Friends, To show support for Newtown as the anniversary approaches, we’re asking that people use this picture as their Profile Picture this week. But, more importantly, we ask that you perform an act of kindness in your own community as a way to spread our committment to transform this grief into a committment to kindness. Thanks!”
In November, my little big boy turned seven with a party, balloons, cake and cupcakes and oh, so much fun and celebration.
The following day would have been Noah Pozner’s birthday. I thought about him. About his twin sister turning seven, about his mother, father, family and friends.
As a parent of a child in a public elementary school in America, I now count on the list of possible things that could happen there (lice, skinned knees, hurt feelings, math and testing stress) —- mass shootings —-God forbid.
It’s too real to contemplate for very long and yet it must be and more people must speak up or things will never change. They do periodic drills at school, which makes me sad. None of it makes any sense. None of it. It is impossible that this continues. If this were an illness caused by a food product, from which tens of thousands of Americans, men, women and children were dying every year, would this government not ban that food product? These are weapons of war and they have no place in the hands of citizens.
I saw this in my news feed on Facebook the other day.
It’s from the good people at Healing Newtown :
“In the days after the Newtown massacre, Connecticut Poet Laureate Dick Allen had no intention of writing a poem about it. In fact, he penned an op-ed piece in The Hartford Courant lamenting the deluge of poems that newspaper editors receive from well-meaning, novice poets after a tragedy like Newtown.
And yet, over and over in his head, he kept hearing the words “in the snow lightly falling.” Against his better judgment, he wrote the short poem “Solace” for the victims of Newtown.
Allen sent the poem to a few friends to get feedback, including a music professor, who sent the poem to Pulitzer prize-winning composer William Bolcom. Bolcom was struck by the beauty of the poem, and set “Solace” to music. Here is William Bolcom’s setting of “Solace” performed by members of the St. Patrick/St. Anthony Gallery Choir.”
It’s haunting, exquisite, devastating.
Meanwhile, the Brady Campaign reports that 30,000 people have been killed in America by guns since Newtown. According to Mother Jones 194 children have been killed since Newtown
We held hands and played in the first snow as it fell.
Love and peace,