His 19 Classmates
And The Remaining 7 Adults Killed
In Newtown, Connecticut.
Read below and see how you can help his grandmother...
A week ago on Sunday December 9th my daughter sent me a heart warming photo of herself, my young granddaughters and Governor Dan Malloy. The cheery holiday photo was taken as they visited the Governor's Mansion in Hartford, Connecticut. They live in West Hartford, and this was an opportunity to see the mansion during the holiday season. Happy times in lovely Connecticut.
Days later on Friday December 14th as I worked in my office, my niece called, wanting to know how far West Hartford was from a sleepy little town called Newtown. I didn't quite know what she was talking about, until I turned on the television set to learn that at least 20 elementary school students had been shot and killed execution style in Newtown.
After a series of calls to my daughter, my niece, and other family members I learned more about this horrific massacre in the making.
My older daughter, son in law, their 21 month old and 4 year old were fine. However, the school children in Newtown were not. As we all know now, a violent and crazy young man blew his mother's face off, raced to the Sandy Hook Elementary School, executed 20 young students and 6 adults before killing himself. And now our entire country has been turned upside down, drowning in our collective tears of sorrow for the innocent so needlessly slaughtered.
This is particularly painful for my family. First, my daughter has a doctorate in clinical psychology and works with mentally challenged young adults for the State of Connecticut. Her workload is staggering, and the cases she and her colleagues handle are vitally important in the mental health field.
Second, anytime children die, it's a painful reminder of the accidental death of my own son's death 15 years ago. Although the circumstances are completely different (my son died in a single car accident, six days after graduating from high school), the death of a child is still terribly painful.
Our family remembers the tragic change from celebrating happy occasions to buying cemetery plots the span of one week. We know it first hand. My son's twin sister still suffers the painful loss of her brother.
When you live in a densely populated region like New England, you're bound to find connections to heartbreaking stories like the Newtown massacre. In my case, it only took a few hours after the shootings took place to find the human connection. While attending a regional church Christmas celebration last Friday night, I found out that one of my colleagues, Annie Haynes, teaches with the grandmother of Jack Pinto, age 6. Jack was buried today, one of the tragic students shot 11 times by the deranged shooter in Newtown.
My friend Annie is sending me Jack's grandmother's address this week. I am asking YOU, and everyone you know to shower this beleaguered grandmother with cards of care and compassion. I know first hand how precious those cards are...especially when sent by perfect strangers.
There's NO difference between an urban youngster killed in a gang related dispute and a 6 year old shot 11 times by a madman. Dead children are dead children. And the pain of losing children either violently or accidentally is the same pain. Regardless of the color or the child or the circumstances, it still hurts deeply to the core.
It ALL must stop. We as a nation must wake up, get gun control passed in Congress and increase our attention and funding for mental health.
I will get back to you in the next few days with Jack Pinto's grandmother's address.
May God comfort and keep the families in the days and weeks ahead as they struggle to comprehend their "new normal."
-Carole Copeland Thomas