To the Editor:
I started my day yesterday sending “thank you” emails to individuals who had sent cards and letters to my community of Sandy Hook, Connecticut. The television was off and I was just on my email screen. I am a volunteer with the Newtown Documentation Project – we are organizing all the mail that had come into Newtown/Sandy Hook after 12/14/12. For me – working on this project is seeing all the love that has come into our community from all over world. Some people focus on gun control and others on the issue of mental health. But I have to see the good that has come from the devastation.
After working on the emails I headed over to the Newtown Healing Arts Center to work on the organizing of the cards and letters for a few hours. I was totally unprepared to see one of the volunteers who man the Arts Center come in almost in tears. Having not met her before, I had no idea what was going on. She came to me with tears in her eyes and saying words about death and bombs. It took her a minute to explain what had been going on in Boston. And then she said “I have no idea about our Sandy Hook team.” I had forgotten that a group of residents had gone to the marathon to run in honor of Sandy Hook. She looked at the trays and trays of mail that we have been working on and said something to the effect that this (all this mail) shouldn’t be here. When I explained that I worked on the mail because it kept me grounded on the ‘love’ coming from the world she just looked at the trays and commented that we shouldn’t have to receive this mail though. And she is right. I would be much happier to never see a piece of mail from another part of the world.
On the anniversary of the events at Virginia Tech I have to wonder how much more our country can take. Shootings at colleges, at elementary schools, at businesses, and now a bombing at a marathon – what will happen next? As I hugged the woman in the Arts Center she stated “Where can we be safe?” I had no answer for that question. I use to be able to say that I was safe in Sandy Hook. What could possibly happen here? And I am sure the people cheering on the marathon runners thought the same thing.
I sent a thank you email to a synagogue in New York who had made quilts and received two very kind emails back from them yesterday. One from the Rabbi stated: “wouldn’t it be nice if they (the quilts) were just given out to brighten people’s days?” and from Bob Jacobs “From the horrible day that those children and teachers died I too became a resident of Sandy Hook. May all of you have the courage to go on.” And after the tragedy in Boston, may all of US have the courage to go on.
26 Pole Bridge Road, Sandy Hook April 17, 2013