viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra

The impact of the massacre in Newtown

Editor’s Note: Ian McMahon of Newtown, Conn., offers this first-person review and insight on the tragedy in Newtown, where a lone gunman killed 28 people, including scores of elementary school-age children in their classrooms last Friday (Dec. 14).

Mr. McMahon is chief financial officer (CFO) at the Salisbury Bank and Trust Company in Lakeville, Conn.

I have just returned home from 7:30 a.m. mass at St. Rose. Usually this mass is relatively quiet. Today (Sunday, Dec. 16), there were people standing.

Across the street from the church is the media: rows of media trucks with satellite dishes, crews and TV cameras. Police are on hand to keep order.

Handwritten posters are tapped to the trees at the entrances to St. Rose: “No media.”

I have not been attending mass as regularly over the past year as I used to, and I felt ashamed to be returning under these circumstances. My faith drew me there, as it did the hundreds of others.

Betsey (my girlfriend) had to be at work by 7:30 a.m. this morning and was unable to accompany me. She and I will go together tomorrow.

Fr. Peter said Mass and delivered a truly beautiful and touching homily. He is an exceptionally articulate and intelligent man and used his gifts to touch all present in a very personal and powerful way.

There are 26 candles on the altar (for each of the victims in the school massacre). An unidentified person from Portland, Ore., sent 26 wreaths to the fire station.

Representatives from the archdiocese were present to offer their condolences. Our diocese is presently without a bishop. Marguerite, you may recall that Bishop Lori’s last mass at St. Rose, before being transferred to the Archdiocese of Baltimore (which includes Washington, D.C.), was my son’s confirmation mass last March.

Letters from Bishop Lori and the Pope were read to the congregation.

Msgr. Bob read the announcements after mass, just as he always does. His face is familiar worldwide.

He broke down in tears announcing the scheduling of eight funerals this week – eight so far.

He knew many of the slain children personally, as they were preparing for their first communion, just as my son, Brendan, and Betsey’s children did. One of the little girls slain was scheduled to be an angel in the living Christmas nativity scene. Msgr. Bob asked for a volunteer to take her place, as now she will be among the stars, shining down brightly from above. Two years ago, Brendan was a shepherd.

The flag on Main Street, which I can see as I write this note, is at half-mast.

The base of the flagpole is adorned with bouquets of flowers and candles. Similarly, the granite seats outside the Newtown Town Hall are covered with candles, flowers and personal notes.

Betsey’s daughter graduated from Newtown High School in the same class as the murderer. She is attending a state college in Framingham, Mass., and has exams this week. Betsey spoke to her yesterday and she was distraught, as was the daughter of another close friend of ours, who also graduated in the same class.

Tonight President Obama will visit Newtown and hold a private vigil with the parents and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School in the high school auditorium. This event is closed to the public and will be televised.

On Tuesday night (Dec. 11), I was at the high school auditorium for the holiday concert. Brendan plays double bass in the orchestra, and he was wonderful.

Three weeks ago, a 20-year-old young man was killed crossing Route 25 near Betsey’s house: hit by a box truck. His death attracted little media attention.

He was described by the press as a “troubled” youth. He had been banned from the skate park for smoking pot. Betsey knew him. She frequently drove him home from the skate park, when she went there to collect her son, Patrick, and she let him stay overnight at her house several times, along with Patrick and his other friends.

I remember Betsey talking to me about him and how she was trying to be a positive influence. He was Asian by birth and adopted, and Betsey believed his parents were abusive to him. He felt alienated but was apparently turning around.

Please pray for Newtown’s community: the families of those that were slain, their friends and neighbors, all of children and recent graduates of the Newtown school system, including our children their school teachers and administrators, the religious community (especially Msgr. Bob and all at St. Rose), the police, fireman, EMS and other emergency services personnel, and all of those young people living in the shadows that we, collectively, have neglected.

May we never look the other way again.

Share This Post

Posted by on December 20, 2012. Filed under National News,News,Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online generic viagra accutane buy phentermine viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra