Just a few days ago, our nation was brought to a halt as news spread about a school shooting on the East Coast. Details were hazy at first, but as the day progressed, we learned more about what would be one of the worse school shootings in history and one of the biggest tragedies our nation has seen in many years.
Around 9:30 AM on December 14, a masked gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. For the next nearly half an hour, this gunman (who for purposes I will touch on in a moment I will not name) terrorized the school. In the end, 27 people were killed before he took his own life.
This act of violence and uncaring shook the nation and sent waves of emotions surging through the heart of everyone who heard about the shooting. Calling it what it is, this was an act of pure evil. I have heard many arguments in the last few days that state the attack was because we do not have enough gun laws or because of other reasons. to me, this is simply not true. It goes above any rules or laws man has set in place, and reflects the true brokenness of our world and the sin within man. This was not an act of God, but an act of evil, evil that would have found a way no matter what obstacle man had tried to raise.
It would be so easy to get caught up in the motivation and the plotting behind this act, but there is no way to fully understand an evil act. I am not one who can judge what this young man did, but I can do my part by not letting the memories of the victims fade. You see, I choose to remember the victims and their bravery over the perpetrator. For that reason, I chose to not name him, for if we keep talking about him, the victims will be forgotten and he will be immortalized for his actions. I will not give him the gratification of his physical actions, and will leave judgement of his soul to my God.
Instead, I choose to remember the staff, teacher and children who were taken from us. I will remember the bravery of the teachers and use it as a lesson to live selflessly and put others before myself; each of these staff members showed such a clear Christ-like example, one that shall not be soon forgot. The truly lived the words of John 15:13, which states: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
I will remember:
- Nancy Lanza, 52. Mother. Killed by her son at home, before the school shootings.
- Rachel D’Avino, 29. Teacher. Used her body to block students.
- Dawn Hochsprung, 47. Principal. Lunged at the gunamn in an attempt to stop him.
- Anne Murphy, 52. Teacher. Killed among her students.
- Lauren Rousseau, 30. Teacher. Killed among her students.
- Mary Sherlach, 56. School Psychologist. Ran with Hochsprung.
- Victoria Soto, 27. Teacher. Hid her students in her classroom and shielded them.
- Charlotte Bacon, 6. Student
- Daniel Barden, 7. Student
- Olivia Engel, 6. Student
- Josephine Gay, 7. Student
- Dylan Hockley, 6. Student
- Madeline Hsu, 6. Student
- Catherine Hubbard, 6. Student
- Chase Kowalski, 7. Student
- Jesse Lewis, 6. Student
- Ana Marquez-Greene, 6. Student
- Grace McDonnell, 6. Student
- Emilie Parker, 6. Student
- Jack Pinto, 6. Student
- Noah Pozner, 6. Student
- Caroline Previdi, 6. Student
- Jessica Rekos, 6. Student
- Avielle Richman, 6. Student
- Benjamin Wheeler, 6. Student
- Allison Wyatt, 6. Student
My heart and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. If I could, I would tell the families that they are not alone as they struggle to work through this. People are joining together all around the world and lifting them up. Through this horrific act, I pray for families to be healed and for God’s love and grace to be evident. For although this was an act of evil, our God is greater and will someone use this to show His greatness, in ways we can not yet imagine.
I will remember.
Show your support to Sandy Hook, read stories from families and leave your prayers/thoughts: http://www.facebook.com/#!/121412NEWTOWNCT