“When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head, When you can feel the world shake from the words that are said, And I’m, calling all Angels”
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It was two years ago our world was changed forever.
That was the day a madman who had slipped through society’s collective crack walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and took away from us 26 lives in a display of violence so swift and so stunning that many of us were initially left speechless.
Those of us who wanted to speak, or found the strength to try, wouldn’t have been heard over the wails of mothers and fathers who had lost their children; 20 in all, a number that staggers me as much today as it did 24 months ago.
It was that day, two years ago to this very day, our tears should have been all that were needed to stop the madness. Sadly, we have failed in this regard. Nothing has changed and, if it has, it is for the worse.
Look at the photo to the right. Look into the eyes of those angels amongst us … How can we live with ourselves, knowing we’ve let them down the way we have?
Gun sales skyrocketed after the Newtown tragedy, which means at the very top some very rich people got even richer because right-wing extremists exploited the aftermath by stirring up scare tactics and preaching about how the rights of gun-owners were about to be taken away and the constitution was going to be re-written.
That’s just one of the more disgusting things that have happened in the two years since gunshots exploded in the safe haven of a school house in a place that could literally be Your Town, America, insert your zip code here.
Sadly, the world has changed in two years and I fear it’s not for the better.
The divide in our country is the worst it has ever been in my lifetime and instead of trying to find answers, we scoff at each other with both disdain and disrespect.
From the aisles of our alleged leaders in Washington, D.C., to a once-burning town called Ferguson, Missouri, story after story cement our current discourse in a country on the verge of losing its collective mind.
Remember after 9/11 when, for a brief period time, we were all one? Remember when “Boston Strong” was a rally cry that rose up from one city and enveloped a country?
Today, our rally cries are “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “I Can’t Breath” — and it has given the darker side of us the right to break into acts of lawlessness, further demonizing us as a culture and stealing away the true message that needs to be heard.
There are days when I feel like I can’t breath, too. I’m shocked at some of the things that happen in this world, yet I’m not shocked when the next school shooting happens.
In June, CNN did a story that reported there had been 74 school shootings Newtown. Can you imagine that? Seventy four times somebody carried a gun into a school and opened fire. Not even the memories of 20 dead 5 and 6 year old children could stop the monsters from coming forward.
Where is the collective out-rage? Where are the protests when our children are being killed in the places where they’re suppose to be safe?
Two years later, I still weep for Newtown, and those families whose lives were forever changed by a swift void that can never be refilled.
Their loss is something I can’t comprehend, not even if tried. It happened less than 20 miles from where I hang my hat, and I personally know people who had loved ones in the school that day. Thankfully, fate had different plans for their children and they were allowed to go come and be embraced by the loving arms of their families.
Twenty other children never had that chance. They bled out on a classroom floor as our world once again grew as dark as it had ever been, even though it was 9:30 in the morning.
I’ll never forget that day and how I felt as the tears streamed down my face as the story unfolded. It’s a feeling I still can’t let go of two years later and I think part of the reason why is because I know nothing has changed and our tears haven’t mattered.
Our losses and letdowns as a country is something I see and feel every day. I’ve lived it for the last 48 years and it’s now I see it spinning out of control and getting worse each time the sun sets and rises, showing the daily damage in a new light.
Where there was once love and innocence, there is now blood and betrayal.
Two years ago, we were given a chance to come together and be better as a collective mankind — and that chance alone cost us 20 children and six heroic adults, who were just trying to make the world a better place.
But we are not better.
We have failed.
And, for that, and the 26 angels we have let down, I still weep, brokenhearted and empty of all hope.