And the skies are still weeping.
And the skies are still weeping.

I wrote this reflection at the end of the week of the Newtown funerals…

Considering the meaning of December 14, 2012.

___________________________________

FAREWELL……moments of silence and of heartache.

I am a 62 year old man. I have family and we have been spared the level of pain which our brothers and sisters in Newtown have born these past several days.

I have seen my share of tragedy.

But, these days are among the most poignant I have experienced. I am watching everything I can and reading everything I can. I am being forced to face the daily violence throughout our land wrought by guns we do not need, by a culture that embraces violence as entertainment and praiseworthy, by gun manufacturers willing to do anything they can to stay profitable, by lobbies that serve the gun industry and gun user zealots and by a society that has failed to care for those whose minds are imbalanced.

This all hurts so much. How have we come to this? We know what must be done. But is there will enough, and courage enough to take on the power of money, the power of paranoia, the power of anger and hatred? There better be.

Noah’s (Pozner) mom put it so well in her eulogy for her little boy.

“The sky is crying, and the flags are at half-mast. It is a sad, sad day. But it is also your day, Noah, my little man. I will miss your forceful and purposeful little steps stomping through our house. I will miss your perpetual smile, the twinkle in your dark blue eyes, framed by eyelashes that would be the envy of any lady in this room.”

I am a political activist and I promise to devote significant effort to combating the evil done that day.

Farewell to Adam, his 19 schoolmates, the six educators whose lives were laid down for those they lovingly taught. And farewell to the man who was the instrument of so much sorrow and to the mother who bore him.

I hope we have not bid farewell to a nation where the children are safe to learn, to laugh, to love, to play, to hug, to trust.

___________________________________

One year later and it appears that the forces of darkness have won.

One year later and the  pain and courage of the Newtown community awakens in me a desire to see to it that those kids and their teaches did not die in vain.

One year later and I know so much more about how handgun  iolence touches many more than acts like Newtown day after day after day.

One year later and guns laws have changed; most of them allowing for even more access.

One year later and I am much less certain about the innate decency of my fellow citizens who seem to know how to mourn but not to reform.

One year later and I have to admit that I and my fellow activists have proven powerless in the face of an opposition with many motivations but one goal- more guns, more ammo, in more hands.

In January of 2013 two of the Newtown parents, David and Francine Wheeler, spoke of their dead 7 year old. Benjamin,  with great sadness and then turned to the subject of Ben’s older brother, Nate, who they said was so quiet in the weeks following the funeral that they were deeply worried. One night, after Nate had gone up to bed, they heard him on the steps. They turned and their 9 year old stood there holding his little brother’s Teddy Bear. With tears in his eyes he said: “You Promised to Keep Us Safe…..”

WHAT ARE WE WILLING TO DO TO KEEP THEM SAFE?

What will the next year bring?

 

In case you want to put faces to the names:

Noah Pozner http://i.i.cbsi.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/12/16/pozner_620x350.jpg

Veronique Pozner :http://assets.n   ydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1222466!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/2eulogy18n-1-web.jpg

David, Francine, Benjamin and Nate Wheeler: http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/16/70/66/3902853/3/628×471.jpg

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Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican (from 1965 through 2004)who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. I was a professor of history, and am now a researcher and gentleman farmer. My political positions are mixed - thus my preferred identification as a Progressive Independent. I am conservative on matters of military intervention, in regard to abortion, immigration, the public school system, gun rights, taxation, voter ID. But I am a traditional conservative, a Buckley, National Review, Eisenhower Republican..... I am a liberal on matters of health care care, funding education, taxation (yes one can be both liberal and conservative on this), civil rights, and alternative energy development/climate change.

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agrippa
Member
agrippa

Many people are no wiser.
Many refuse to see the connection between firearms and death.

Dbos
Member
Dbos

People are not built to bury their children; i lost my fourteen year old daughter to a drunk driving accident; l sit here reading this with tears rolling down my cheeks remembering her and the tragedy of her life lost; every time a child leaves this world before their time we are all that much less.

Nirek
Member

Dbos, my heart goes out to you. The loss of a child is unbearable. We are not supposed to outlive our children. I have a 14 year old Granddaughter and I could not bear to lose her. She is involved in everything and has all A’s. Enough bragging.

God bless you.

Dbos
Member
Dbos

Thanks for the thoughts and great words

kesmarn
Admin

Dbos, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. This is every parent’s nightmare.

You’re so right. When we lose one child, it’s a loss for all of us.

And when it’s a preventable loss, the tragedy is that much worse.

Dbos
Member
Dbos

Thanks for the thoughts

DobermanMom2
Member
DobermanMom2

Who is the “Adam” to whom your are referring in your “Farewell to Adam…” line in your comment? Was one of the first graders named Adam? Did you mean Noah, since you mentioned Noah Pozner? Am I just confused?

kesmarn
Admin

Murph, like so many other Americans I really thought Sandy Hook would be the turning point. If the methodical murder of first graders didn’t move Congress to action on some measure of gun control, what would? I was almost certain that this would open peoples’ eyes to the absurdity that the NRA had become. Even thought the NRA might re-think a few things.

Now, even a year later I’m still in a state of incredulity that — given the choice between (a) ridiculous numbers of high powered weapons in the hands of people of sometimes dubious competence and (b) our children — Americans would choose (a).

It’s not only the guns. We seem to be a country increasingly in love with violence in general. Even sports rivalries and encounters with aggressive drivers can end up with bloodshed. We have unbelievable numbers of people in prisons, and big problems with bullying in schools. Our movies and video games are full of violence (although, unlike many, I believe that is more a symptom than a cause of the psychological malaise here). A.M. radio is full of raving, furious ranters.

Maybe it all boils down to one deceptively simple, brief question.

Why are we so angry?

VegasBabe
Member

Why are we so angry and I might add, and who are we angry at? THAT Kesmarn needs to be not only a story here, but an ongoing one where folks can continually contribute.

VegasBabe
Member

Those are indeed wise and sweet words my friend but it breaks my heart that they seemed to only be for the Newtown victims when in point of fact, our youth in this country die every single day, every single hour across this nation. No one ever seems to cry, let alone mourn for them. They are and remain forgotten. Newtown was horrific and so are the hundreds upon hundreds whose lives are lost in the streets of urban America. They too are victims.

Nirek
Member

V B, your point is spot on. This is exactly why we need to identify and treat mentally ill people and keep guns out of their hands. Too many shootings across America every day.

Nirek
Member

Great post Murph! As usual you make good points and a lot of sense.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Murph, we absolutely do need stricter gun control, but there are already over 300 million guns in this country that have already been sold/bought, traded or stolen.

The gun problem is like the hard drug problem. As long as there is a demand, there will be someone out there willing to supply that demand. It’s very unfortunate and will take a long, long time to fix, if that’s even possible at this point.

It’s a real shame that it has come down to this, but we need tougher security at schools. We shouldn’t have to, but unfortunately we do. Obviously, we can’t protect everyone, every where. But we need to really focus on keeping our schools and our children safe. We also need far better mental health care. It’s very difficult to predict those that will snap, but surely we need to pay more attention to those who may show some warning signs.

Nirek
Member

KT, I agree, especially about the mental health part. We need to treat the mentally ill as early as possible and with care.

KillgoreTrout
Member

The real problem is that it’s near impossible to predict if and when a person snaps. It’s a very serious problem indeed.

Beatlex
Member
Beatlex

The NRA are bloodthirsty ghouls,it is ALL about sales for them.They make my stomach turn.I wonder if any of them have been directly affected by gun violence?

Nirek
Member

Beatlex,Big corporations are greedy. They are multinational and do NOT care about Americans. They only care about the $$$!

choicelady
Member

Ohhhh – to read this afternoon that the young woman shot yesterday is NOT doing well, to fear another family will lose their child. Why?

Thank you, Murph, for the powerful and wrenching memory coupled with reflection on the most recent violence that has harmed yet another of our young people.

I could ALMOST tolerate the gun supporters if they’d once – just once – expressed a shred of compassion for these victims, especially the children. They never do. I am sick at heart wondering when our right to live a life of ‘quiet enjoyment’ will equal the Second Amendment. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” aren’t amendments – they are fundaments. It was not a founding principle that we should all be armed, 24/7, to keep one another at bay. We live in the most free society ever and hate our government anyway.

And so from paranoia and Hollywood images of gun slingers, we keep letting our nation’s children be harmed or die for – what?

There are a number of the children who’ve not been much noticed because their families wish it to be so. One who has been is Jesse Lewis who tried and succeeded in saving some of his classmates by telling them to run. He did not make it. His father’s awesome memories of Jesse break my heart. But so do they all. And the little girl, still unidentified, who survived hidden by the bodies of her classmates. All of these children, living and dead, were not worth the notice of the NRA. And they therefore need to be in the forefront of our concern.

Rest in peace, little ones.

PLEASE survive and recover Claire Davis. We are hoping and praying for your life and well being.

Nirek
Member

CL, I second your post and wish the young lady a full recovery.