A year ago tomorrow, our country received a deep stab in the heart with the news that 20 children and six adults were murdered in the worst school shooting in our nation’s history, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The killer then killed himself.
Since that stunning day last year, there have been many discussions on what could have caused the gunman to go on that rampage, and what could have been done to prevent it. Is the problem one of mental health or is it the availability of high-powered guns?
In Colorado, both have been addressed: mental health initiatives led by the governor, and tougher gun laws passed by the state legislature. Only time will tell whether these responses will prevent such tragedies from recurring.
While many in the country are still wringing their hands over what to do, the families and friends of the victims must deal with their unfathomable grief. The people in Newtown have begged the media to leave them alone this week. They will hold no public events to mark the tragic anniversary. Understandably, the agony is still too fresh, too raw, for these unfortunate people to go public at this point.
The rest of us, however, can and should acknowledge this dark anniversary in our own ways.
The anniversary will be on Shabbat. Tonight, in synagogue or at the Shabbat table, or tomorrow in shul, take a few moments and enlarge your prayers to include the innocent souls of those 20 little children and their teachers, and the loved ones they left behind. Then, meditate on the soul of our nation, for certainly one year is not enough to heal the deep wounds caused by the evil acts of one human being against all the goodness embodied by those children and teachers. May their memories forever be a blessing.
Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News