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An Eternal Thanksgiving

To the Editor:

If you could say something to those courageous teachers and to those 20 innocent children who were tragically killed on last December 14, what might that be?

Would you tell them how much you miss them and still love them?  Would you let them know that you and their entire school, town, state, nation – the world, itself, has been thinking and crying and asking about them? Would you tell them that town activities, sporting events, national assemblies paused to remember them – just to honor them?

Do you think that each of these loved one’s know that every person in Sandy Hook/Newtown has not ceased praying for each of them: the town’s municipal workers, the administration, police, fire, EMT’s, the clergy and representatives of every local faith community, school personnel, mentors in the arts and coaches in athletics and leisure-time activities – all of these community workers and volunteers – that they will never forget them? 

The celebration of  Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. May we celebrate it with thanksgiving for these beautiful sisters and brothers who were taken from us. The clergy from several towns in the Newtown area will celebrate in a variety of settings in the coming week. Let us give thanks for these little one’s who remain ever so wrapped in the arms of our one God .

This reflection began with a question: “What would you say to these ‘little one’s ‘ if you could pen them a note in the coming weeks? “ Here are my own thoughts:

To My 26 New Friends:

“Si vales, bene est, valeo!” Such is the way that the great Roman orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero, began many of his letters. I am certain that you have already met him – and all the wonderful people of the past – who greeted you upon your arrival in the glorious halls of heaven.

I am also certain that I need not translate the above greeting for you because you have already mastered all the world’s languages and that you understand them perfectly.

But lest others do not understand Cicero’s Latin, it means: “If you are well, it is well, I am well!” I pray that your loving family and friends will realize that you are truly well and that when they are well, totally healed from their grieving, the world of Newtown/Sandy Hook will be well again. Pray for them and for all of us. For you have greater vision and know what/who “Love” really is. You have experienced already, teachers and children, “Love” face to face.

You, dear friends, already have, what we still on earth, long for; the fullness of Love-Joy-Peace. And realizing that we are all in communion with one another, ask the good Lord to share that peace with the nations of the earth – and our little town of Newtown.

May this eternal Thanksgiving be your happiest ever!”

Love and prayers,   your brother, Leo.

Leo E. McIlrath

12 Sugarloaf Road, Sandy Hook                   November 22, 2013

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