I was horrified, as I’m sure most of the nation and world were, when I was sitting in the lobby at the doctor’s office last week and saw the news of what happened in Newtown, Conn.
Even before having a child of my own, horrible tragedies like the school shooting last week always caught my attention, as they do most people. But now as a mother of a toddler, it raises a harsh reality.
We can provide all the safety measures in the world, but sometimes there is just nothing that can be done to stop bad things from happening.
The past week has been spent with a lot of thoughts and prayers going out to the families of the young first-graders who died in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as the staff members who were killed.
At the Christmas banquet for the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department Saturday night, 20 white paper stars were added to our Christmas tree in memory of the young lives lost. At a celebration of the retirement of Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson earlier this week, White Plains Elementary School students and staff remembered those lives cut tragically short by carrying candles lit in memory of the lives lost.
And I’m certain these are just two examples of the hundreds of ways the Sandy Hook victims have been and are being honored even locally — more than 630 miles away.
The incident is a harsh reminder that even innocent young lives in small towns are not sheltered from the real world and it’s occasional cruelty.
This week, we also keep in our prayers the family of a young Pilot Mountain Elementary School boy who died in a car crash Saturday just before midnight.
While the incident allegedly involved a chase with law enforcement and the boy’s teenage sister as the driver, these facts should not overshadow the loss that a family is feeling.
Instead of blame and regret and pointing fingers, which tend to be impulsive reactions when something like this happens, we need to all come together and offer prayers and thoughts of support to everyone involved in the incident.
As we enter the week of Christmas, let’s remember to keep peace and love and harmony around the world in the forefront of our minds.
Wendy Byerly Wood is the associate editor of The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1923.