Godspeed to Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut

1

January 7, 2013 | By: Scott Holton

bigstock-Make-A-Difference-Sign-1475086Scott here… I’m usually the tech editor type guy at J&P Cycles, but I have a few comments to bring in the New Year. Patrick Garvin (host) and Scott Abing (videographer) recently put out our annual New Year’s resolution video and did a fine job with it. Shawn not talking to them cracks me up! As we bring in 2013 we have a lot ahead of us and hopefully, we will all have positive experiences as we move through the year.

My blog today; however, is not joyful nor pleasant. As a father, the horror of what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut haunts me. I am aghast that someone could have committed such a heinous act of cowardice. I will not dignify the perpetrator of this act by even mentioning his name, but we should exemplify the deeds of the teachers who were able to hide their students and save their lives. Teachers Victoria Leigh Soto, Maryrose Kristopik and Kaitlin Roig should be elevated to hero status for how they reacted in the face of doom. Other teachers and aides such as Lauren Rousseau, Anne Marie Murphy and Paraprofessional Rachel D’Avino should also be named heroes as they laid down their lives protecting their protégés. Additional heroes who emerged included survivors Sarah Cox, Barbara Halstead, Yvonne Cech and Mary Ann Jacob. My wife and I discussed how empty the parents of those children must feel as the Christmas plans each family had made were so tragically ripped apart. We both agreed that it would be unbearable if something like this would happen to our son.

Having been a part of our military as a member of the United States Marine Corps and a Vietnam era vet, I was trained to do what I had to and understand how to react to attacks upon ourselves. These teachers had no training, but you can see how their dedication and resourcefulness saved children from this fiend. I am deeply humbled by the sacrifice they made.

Some say you can talk all you want about how you would do this or do that when a gun is pointed at you, but having faced that test, I know that until it actually happens, you will never know the truth. It is a paralyzing feeling to look down the barrel of a gun that is pointed in anger! These heroes made their individual choices to do what they had to, and the choices they made were amazingly selfless.

My wife and I struggled to come to grips with this tragedy. We finally arrived at a plan to honor each of the 26 who perished in Newtown. We agreed to attempt 26 random acts of kindness or ways to help another (sort of a pay it forward kind of thing). My wife added $10 worth of gas to a family’s gas tank as they were evicted from their apartment and forced to move on Christmas Day. We bought 10 gallons of milk at our local store to be given to the next 10 families who came in to get milk. I don’t want this post in any way, shape or form to be about me, these are just examples of what we chose to do, but you get the idea.

While I’m not a huge fan of guns, I would like to point out that the second amendment guarantees our right to bear arms. In the Marine Corps, gun control is shooting a nice tight group to earn your expert badge. I’m going to agree.

I urge each and every one of you who reads this to follow our lead. Honor those at Sandy Hook by performing at least 26 acts of kindness or ways to help others. We made up a list of names of those perished in this tragedy and crossed off each one at a time an act was completed.

I apologize if I have gotten on a soapbox here, but as I conclude this soliloquy I am going to cross the last name from my list. Victoria Leigh Soto. My list is now complete.

Students:
Allison Wyatt, age 6
Benjamin Wheeler, age 6
Avielle Richman, age 6
Jessica Rekos, age 6
Caroline Previdi, age 6
Noah Pozner, age 6
Jack Pinto, age 6
Emilie Parker, age 6
Grace McDonnell, age 7
James Mattioli, age 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, age 6
Jesse Lewis, age 6
Chase Kowalski, age 7
Catherine Hubbard, age 6
Madeleine Hsu, age 6
Dylan Hockley, age 6
Josephine Gay, age 7
Olivia Engle, age 6
Daniel Barden, age 7
Charlotte Bacon, age 6
School Staff members:
Rachel D’Avino, age 29
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, age 47 Principal
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
Mary Sherlach, age 56 School Psychologist
Victoria Leigh Soto, age 27

Once again, Godspeed to Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. My fervent prayer is the survivors come through ok and are not haunted with this for the rest of their lives.

Comments (1)

Thanks Scott and Semper Fi. I to decided to pay it forward. In a restaurant and watched a military man with his wife and 2 small children having lunch. Had the waitress bring me their ticket so I could pay it forward. We need to keep doing these random acts of kindness so that they become the ordinary acts of kindness!

Leave a comment