By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
While a Nisswa couple has been identified as the grandparents of one little girl lost in the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Conn., last week, most of us in Minnesota are connected only through the media to the innocents who perished that Friday morning. The absence of blood relationship to those affected, however, has not kept our hearts from breaking.
And although Lake County is more than 1,300 miles away from Newtown, the distance hasn’t kept our thoughts from that small New England town where 20 children — babies really — are being buried, one-by-one, by parents whose greatest fear has been realized.
At this moment, nothing separates us from those who mourn. We are with them in thought and prayer. At this moment those children are not their children, they are our children.
As the days pass into weeks and months, time will not keep us from remembering.
As I wrote the story of the events in Connecticut and our own school security concerns in this edition, I grappled with words and phrases, none of which seemed right. I was trying to write as a journalist — objectively, logically, clearly — all the while with tears streaming down my cheeks and lump in my throat.
Later, when I prepared to write a column in memory of those whose lives were taken, I still felt the enormity of the emotion, but I found these words from “Gates of Prayer,” the Reform Jewish Prayer Book. I wanted to share them. Like sorrow and compassion, over time meditation on wise words heals our wounds.
At the rising sun and at its going down we remember them.
Charlotte Bacon, age 6
Daniel Barden, age 7
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter we remember them.
Olivia Engel, age 6
Josephine Gay, age 7
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring we remember them.
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, age 6
Dylan Hockley, age 6
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer we remember them.
Madeleine F. Hsu, age 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, age 6
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn we remember them.
Chase Kowalski, age 7
Jesse Lewis, age 6
At the beginning of the year and when it ends we remember them.
James Mattioli, age 6
Grace McDonnell, age 7
As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us. As we remember them. When we are weary and in need of strength we remember them.
Emilie Parker, age 6
Jack Pinto, age 6
When we are lost and sick at heart we remember them.
Noah Pozner, age 6
Caroline Previdi, age 6
When we have decisions that are difficult to make we remember them.
Jessica Rekos, age 6
Avielle Richman, age 6
When we have joy we crave to share we remember them.
Benjamin Wheeler, age 6
Allison N. Wyatt, age 6
When we have achievements that are based on theirs we remember them.
Rachel Davino, age 29
Dawn Hochsprung, age 47
For as long as we live, they too will live.
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
For they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Mary Sherlach, age 56
Victoria Soto, age 27