- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Visitors attend first funerals in Newtown, relieved own children are safe
Question of the Day
The initial panic was reminiscent of Sunday afternoon at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, when churchgoers had to flee noon Mass after a man phoned in a “threat of violence.” The incident remains under investigation.
The routine task of dropping off children at school took on new meaning for many parents.
“Taking my son to school today had a different spin on it. If I could’ve stood in front of his school in uniform all day, I would have,” said Ken Pires, a deputy with the Franklin County, Mass., Sheriff’s Department.
Like so many others, he came to Newtown to not only pay his respects, but to thank God that his family was spared such an unimaginable loss. Dressed in full uniform, Deputy Pires carried a small teddy bear through the streets of Newtown toward a growing memorial at the community Christmas tree.
He paused for a moment, eyes closed, then slowly knelt and placed the bear beside the thousands of other stuffed animals, toys, candles, handwritten notes and photographs left at the memorial by the people of Newtown and also by those who have come from hours away.
“I’ve got a 9-year-old. It could’ve been my son’s school,” he said, equal measures of anguish and relief in his voice.
Across from Newtown’s Christmas tree memorial stood husband and wife Leigh Perry and Tino Diotalevi, who traveled from nearby Seymour, Conn., to pay tribute to the fallen and to pray with those struggling to cope.
They understood, as everyone in this town does, that the true depth of grief and pain is yet to come for those survivors still in shock.
They held handmade signs, inviting the mourners to stop and seek God’s help.
“You can pray for yourself, but you don’t really get rid of your grief and sorrow until you pray for and with others,” Mrs. Perry said, her thoughts then turning to her reaction on Friday when she first heard news of the shooting.
“When you’re a parent, it hits you right in the gut,” she said. “It just made me sick.”
Sandy Hook remains closed indefinitely, but Newtown’s other schools are set to reopen Tuesday.
Plans are being made to eventually relocate the students and staff of Sandy Hook to another school that had been unused because of consolidation. Sandy Hook’s desks are now being moved to Chalk Hill school in neighboring Monroe, which is expected to be ready for classes within days — though it’s still unclear when Sandy Hook students will resume their schooling.
In the meanwhile, families are focused on healing.
“We’re just now getting ready to talk to our son about who was killed,” said Robert Licata, the father of a student who escaped harm during the shooting. “He’s not even there yet.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Obama, first lady will attend Mandela memorial services
- Obama: Nelson Mandela now 'belongs to the ages'
- Obama lived with Uncle Onyango Obama in the 1980s, White House admits
- Obama calls on bartenders to help sell health care reform
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
Latest Blog Entries
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Great discoveries in the world of restaurants and chefs fulfill the quest for delicious food and cooking.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Red Alert focuses on the hottest political topics in the nation and calls Americans to action.
White House pets gone wild!