Letter: Now good time to recall lessons from Newtown

From: John Vanderbur

Greensburg, IN

Twenty children and six adults from Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, were shot to death by a deranged young man on Dec. 14, 2012. Four months later, People magazine interviewed some of the parents whose children had been killed.

Below are some excerpts of those interviews.

Noah Pozner, 6: “Noah would often ask what happens after you die. I told him after people die they are in peace, and he’d say, ‘But that only happens when you get very old, right?’ Instead of just being the curiosity of a child, now it almost seems like a premonition. It is very troubling to me. I swing by the cemetery and talk to him about what his sisters are up to. There’s a measure of comfort, but it is agonizing to see your baby’s name on a grave.” — Veronique Pozner, Noah’s mother.

Emilie Parker, 6: “Lately it’s been difficult. I miss saying her name, talking to her, touching her. We were so much alike. She loved sewing and making things. In February we went to Utah, where we’re from and where she’s buried. For Valentine’s Day, our daughters Madeline 5, and Samantha 3, wanted to send her valentines in heaven, so we wrote notes and sent them up in balloons. Madeline also put a stuffed animal on Emilie’s grave. She said, ‘I want to give it to her because Emilie doesn’t have a mommy and daddy with her.” — Alissa Parker, Emilie’s mother.

Dylan Hockley, 6: “To be honest, it seems to be getting harder. I keep looking for him. I reach out for him. I keep thinking he’s here and can’t understand why he’s not. It’s hard to get your head and your heart around. I’ve seen the worst the world has to offer, and I’ve seen the best. From what I’ve seen, the good outweighs the bad: It comforts us to know Dylan, who was autistic, died in the arms of his teacher’s aide, Ann Marie Murphy, who was trying to shield him.” — Nichole Hockley, Dylan’s mother.

David Kullgren: Was a policeman and first responder when the attack occurred at Sandy Hook School. He states, “None of us will ever be the same. Two or three days after Dec. 14, a neighbor came over with his daughter and brought dinner to say thank you. There weren’t many words exchanged, but we both understood. I said goodbye, closed the door, and bawled my eyes out.”

Today, as the carnage continues, we ask why and the answer is quite simple; we have politicians that are owned by the NRA. To some politicians, I say yours is a profile in cowardice. You have no sense of dignity or morality.

When I look at the pictures of the children of Sandy Hook, I see the smiling, innocent faces that are full of life and promise. Let’s not forget those children and the thousands of people that have died by gun violence. Give your children an extra hug tonight and tell them you love them.