Do We Need a Reality Check, I Think So
The Mayans claim the world will end this Friday, December 21st. What some of us don’t realize yet, the world has already ended for the families and friends of the 27 people that were massacred last Friday, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown Connecticut.
What sickens me is how quickly our short term memory kicks in as a civilization and we shift our attention to something else.
On Friday, the nation was horrified by the actions of 20 year Adam Lanza. We all wondered how anyone could be so evil as to walk into an elementary school filled full of innocent children and adults and open fire.
Upon hearing the news, we all wanted a glimpse of the heinous individual who had the capability to do such an incredible act of violence.
Within just a few hours of the shootings however, the gun control discussion began to permeate the TV airwaves and social media sites. Countless opportunistic individuals looking to advance or protect their political agendas, while so many people all over this country were grief stricken, trying to come to grips with what just happened hours ago.
Flash forward to Sunday night, as the president addressed the nation from Newtown, honoring those who lost their lives on that December 14th morning. As he spoke, Twitter erupted with racist rants against Obama, all because the first quarter of the 49ers-Patriots game was pre-empted to broadcast his speech at the memorial service for the victims. Thousands of people incensed that his speech was causing them to miss a portion of their precious Sunday night football game.
Is it me, or do we really need a reality check in this nation? Can we just for a minute stop and try to imagine what it must be like to be one of the people who lost a child or loved one in the Sandy Hook shooting.
Try and imagine the immense pain and sadness of losing your son, daughter or spouse during what should be the most joyous time of the year. The Christmas gifts already wrapped and placed under the tree that will go unopened because the precious person the gift was intended for is no longer with us. Their life snatched away in mere seconds due to the actions of a deranged madman.
Is your football game or political agenda really that important that you can’t take just a little while to honor, pray for and help those who are suffering?
Trust me; they’ll be plenty of days and weeks ahead to debate and attempt to prevent future events like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary from happening again.
But for now, can we at least try to come together as a nation to help comfort and provide some compassion for our fellow man?
If you would like to assist those affected by this tragedy, here’s a list of organizations and how to help:
- The United Way of Western Connecticut has created a Sandy Hook School Support Fund. You can donate online or mail a check here:
Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470
- The American Red Cross is working with local authorities to help affected families and first responders. For now, the organization says it has all the help it needs, and that if you would like to make a donation, please send it to the United Way via the above address or website. If you or someone you know may need emotional support, they have provided a tip sheet here.
- Newtown Youth and Family Services provides emergency counseling for families, community members or staff involved in the tragedy. They also recommend sending help to the United Way, but are accepting donations at this address:
15 Berkshire Road
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
- The Newtown Memorial Fund has been set up to provide financial aid to victims in covering funeral costs, to assist in the creation of a memorial in the town, and to start an ongoing scholarship for Newtown public school students to attend college.
- If you are interested in volunteering in Newtown, you can call the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection at 1-800-203-1234.
- A list of private online donation sites set up specifically for the Sandy Hook shooting can be found here.
- To send a card or letter to students or staff at the school, here is the address:
Sandy Hook Elementary School
12 Dickenson Drive
Sandy Hook, CT, 06482
- If you would like to send a teddy bear to a child in Newtown, "Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy II" will receive and distribute it from this address:
Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy II
1000 Bridgeport Ave.
Shelton, CT 06484