Monday, November 25, 2013
No parent should ever have to experience what happened in a small town in the southwest
part of Connecticut last December. No community should have to be forever linked to one
of the worst events imaginable. No resident should ever have to hear the words, "Oh, I'm so
sorry," after identifying where they are from to outsiders.
The massacre of 20 innocent children and six adults in Sandy Hook Elementary School is
always going to be a part of Newtown, Ct, just as Dallas is forever woven into the JFK
assassination. The town is trying hard to move on from the tragedy that seared its soul and
punctured its heart. On December 14, the one-year anniversary of the event, there won't
be a moment of silence for the victims. Church bells won't ring and there won't be a
a gathering in the center of town for the people to come together. It's all part of a
coordinated and calculated effort to try to put the past in the past, as well the unimaginable
pain behind them.
Unfortunately, an insensitive and unscrupulous world is not helping them. In the days,
weeks, and months after innocent children were ambushed by a crazed gunman, despicable
behavior followed. A woman in New York falsely claimed to be a grieving family member
of one of the victims and set up a fake charity to defraud donors. She is currently serving eight
months in prisons.
The parents of a child who actually survived the shooting, attempted to sue the state for $100
million just two weeks after the event that shook this country at its core. They said their child
suffered irreparable damage for the shooting at the school. Irreparable damage? Your child
survived. Think about the 'irreparable damage' the parents of the children who died, have
to endure. The lawsuit was dropped after their attorney got death threats.
And less than a month before the anniversary of the event, a manufacturer produced a vile
video where a gunman walks into an elementary school and massacres children, then gives
the participant options of what to do next, which includes committing suicide as the police
entered the building. It doesn't get any more heinous than that.
Now, something more for the parents and community to deal with. The final report on the
shooting and events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School is to be released to
the world, on-line, of course, at 3pm on Monday. There will be more pain, more sorrow,
and more questions as to why, which will never be answered because Adam Lanza and his
mother are dead.
In reality, Newtown will never be able to move on from this tragedy. It will always be
Newtown followed by, "yeah, that's the place where 20 little children were murdered."
That's tough for any resident of that small, quiet community to deal with, especially for
the parents who lost a child that day.
However, there is some joy in Newtown, thanks to its high school football team. Yes,
football is merely a game where one team wins and another team loses. In the grand scheme
of things, football, whether it be the NFL or a small-town conference, is really not all
that important. But it can help bring a community a little closer together and bring more
The Newtown Nighthawks are undefeated (11-0) and are ranked first in the state in Class
LL. They are a fun and exciting team to watch with a Johnny Manziel-type quarterback
in Drew Tarantino. Their top running back, Cooper Gold, has a name straight out of
Hollywood. Their best player, Julian Dunn, is a junior and already being recruited by
several Division I schools.
The team proudly wears "Newtown" on the front of its jerseys. On the helmet is specially-
designed logo that pays tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School. The school
colors of Newtown are blue and gold, but they added a touch of green this year. Green is
the school color of Sandy Hook Elementary School. There is a the number '26' that boldly
stands out on the logo for everyone to see. The players have been advised by the First
Selectman in town not to talk about the tragedy a year ago, but they have not forgotten
the 20 children and 6 teachers and administrators who were senselessly murdered that day.
There is a Hoosiers-type feel to this team. They are a small-knit group who are quite
capable of doing great things. The division they play in is quite stacked with teams that
are bigger and more talented than them, but the Nighthawks have a big heart and appear
to be on a mission.
If everything falls their way, the Newtown Nighthawks could play for the state championship
on December 14--the one-year anniversary of one of the worst tragedies on American soil.
If that happens, the word Newtown could be followed by 'state champions'. It won't erase the
bad memories of a terrible day, but it will bring more pride to the town and truly help them