I know a number of you are aware that we live very near Newtown, CT and I want to thank the folks that have reached out to me over the past few days. Newtown is only 15 miles from my house and we have a number of friends who live there. The impact here has been horrific. I know from talking to a number of you from across the country, physical distance is not a buffer. This tragedy has devastated us all.
Many of us have devoted a great deal of our lives to helping students. This horror brought upon the most vulnerable and innocent in a place where being and feeling safe is essential is simply beyond imagination. ….But it happened and we need to figure out the right things to do moving forward.
We all struggle to try to make sense of it, but I expect we never will. We admire the heroic actions of the teachers and staff that protected these children and likely saved many lives. I expect you all would be willing to do the same. None of us should have to. I hope that sensible actions come out of this that will help avoid something like this in the future.
I feel some obligation to clear up some of the portrayal of Newtown in the press. They have called Newtown an affluent place of “big houses and big yards”. I just want folks to know that it is a town with a lot of regular people. My friends are regular working people who live in Newtown and many of my wife’s co-workers live there as well. Newtown could truly be any one of our towns.
A lot of you have asked what you could do to help. Right now, I am not sure, but we are all thinking about how to help the children who survived. Though the Sandy Hook Elementary building will not re-open any time soon (if at all), the children will return to school at a building nearby. And we want them to feel as safe and welcome as possible when they do. As a neighbor of Newtown, I’d like to hear any of your ideas on how we can support the children as they transition back to school.