Many of us are hugging our children a little tighter this morning. At an elementary school in Connecticut, a gunman entered the premises and began firing, killing 27 people.
Of those killed this morning, 20 of them were children between the ages of 5-10.
Emotional stories are pouring out from the scene.
Cursing was heard over the intercom when the PA was tripped so that it was heard in the classrooms, coming from the principal’s office, alerting the teachers to lock their doors. The shooting began in the principal’s office with the shooting of the principal. Also killed was the school psychologist. One entire classroom is still unaccounted for. People were running for their kids. “I couldn’t get there fast enough,” one father said in a video by CBS. “I couldn’t wait to see her face, but unfortunately some parents won’t be able to see their child’s face.”
20 families were told that their child was dead.
The question on everyone’s lips is “Why?” Why would someone come into a school of young kids and began shooting? Why would he kill all of these children? What could possibly trigger such an intense rage in him that would cause him to alter the realities of 27 different families in the worst way imaginable?
As parents, it’s hard not to put ourselves in the shoes of those whose children attend the school. Once you have a child, your biggest fears shift from the bad things that can happen to yourself, to what can happen to your child. Our child’s mortality becomes our biggest concern. I can almost feel what every one of those parents felt as they heard what had happened at the school and rushed there to see if their child was ok. I can imagine the frustration and fear as they were held off by yellow tape and were forced to wait until they were reunited with their child amidst a scene of panic and hundreds of other scared parents. And I can imagine the sheer relief once they were reunited with their child, able to hold them again and know that even though their child’s innocence had been tampered with after this gruesome scene, they were still alive.
What I can’t imagine is what the parents of those 20 children are going through. And I don’t want to. In one moment, their whole world changed. There was no warning. There was nothing to prepare them that this was the last time they would ever see their child’s smile, hug them goodbye, or hear the sound of their voice. And it’s grossly unfair that the homes of these 20 children are missing one small child who will never experience another birthday, another Christmas, another sunny day.
20 kids will never grow up.
For that, I hug my kids a little tighter today, grateful that I have them to hold close. And I offer a prayer up for the families in Connecticut whose lives have been forever changed by the fatal choice of one selfish gunman – a man who stole so much in so little time. RIP little ones.