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Friday, December 14, 2012

The Death of Innocence


The Death of Innocence

I have always had a somewhat stoic attitude about death.  It is something I got from my mother.  My mom lost her mother and her father before she was ten years old.  Her younger sister died at age three from the flu.  She had childhood friends that died before they became adults.  She lived through the depression and was a young mother during World War II when many of her friends and neighbors never came home.  Her stoic attitude toward death was a way of coping.

I do not take death lightly; I just generally accept it and have a “life must go on” attitude.  Some deaths are harder than others to accept.  The murder of 3000 people on 9-11 was like that to me.  I think it was the completely senselessness of those deaths, and the utter evil that was behind all those murders. 

The wanton killing of 20 five-year-olds in a kindergarten class is more difficult for me to remain stoic than any tragedy I can remember.  It is not just the deaths of these trusting children, not just the pain and loss to their mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents; it represents the death of innocence in this country.

We Americans have always had a sense of safety in this land.  A sense that we were somehow exempt from the evil we hear about in other parts of the world. 

Columbine shook us.  9-11 woke us up.  Murders in a theater and in the mall have struck us with fear.  The murders today of 27 people, 20 being innocent trusting young children has devastated us.  All innocence is gone, evil is around us, and it is here to stay.  The slow chipping away of our sense of security is complete.  The world has been turned upside-down. 

Soon we will have police, searches and lock downs at all schools.  We will be frisked at malls, movie theaters and restaurants. Every day will resemble a trip through airport security. 

Today we mourn the lives of these beautiful children.  We also mourn the loss of innocence of our own children, grandchildren and of our country.

Life will go on, we will survive, we will defeat evil but it will come at a great price. It will cost us our freedom, our security and our innocence.         

16 comments:

  1. It sounds like it will cost us our freedom to keep our freedom...

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  2. this is soooo sad. The children. Your countrys loss. Norway had a similar thing happening about two years ago with 70 kids killed by one deluted man.. and... gets to you, doesn´t it. It get´s to me..So unnessesary, so bad...
    I too, like you, have what i consider to be a pretty normal relationship withe death, being a nurse I see it often, and most of the time it´s a welcome guest, but for those children.. no. That´s just wrong. I feel for you and your contry today. best regards, fellow blogger from norway

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  3. It's hard to find the words that express the horror I feel at this. It's totally incomprehensible and tragic.

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  4. I am still in shock. A very sad day for our country.

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  5. Very well said and, sadly, too true.

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  6. Very lovely posting. My thoughts and prayers also go out to those children, their parents and families, to the school staff and this small town as well as the first responders.
    Enjoyed reading your posting.

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  7. Excellent post Cranky. It is sadness beyond belief. It's pure evil. It's senseless. And as you say,it's here to stay.

    Will our daily security measures eventually resemble Israel? Probably.

    S

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  8. Unfortunately you can't legislate against crazy.

    Some politician will use this as a platform to add new gun control legislation which will restrict rights and freedom as you said. This won't help. It didn't help 25 years ago, 16 years ago or 2 years ago when attacks like these occurred in the UK. The UK has strict gun laws.

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  9. What happened in Connecticut is so sad and so horrible, it is hard to wrap my mind around it. And while I don't want to agree with you I know that the government will seek to find an answer. Here is my take on the answer. Teach your children well.......the sickness of our society is the children not being taught right from wrong, respect, responsibility, self control. We do not lead by example. We do not let them know that they are important. And I say we...the non parents. How many of us give our time to an at risk youth, a troubled youngster, a neighborhood kid who needs a friend. We don't for a miriade of reason but none of them make their lives better. We leave it to the "others" to do. The teachers, the social workers, the police, parole, the courts.
    Tell me that we can't believe that we can make a difference. Show me that we will try and I will guarantee that even if it is with one child, a difference will be made and that will be multiplied expedentially.
    I don't want to agree with the notion that it takes a village, but it does. We all need to show love, respect, and respond to teaching the children well.
    So when people say all we can do is pray, they are right. Pray for the families that are in agony, pray for our country to get off our butts and do the human correct thing...take responsibility and give all children the gift we (olders) were given, freedom to be children that have been taught life lessons so that they can succeed in managing themselves.

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  10. I could not pull myself away from the tv yesterday. I have grandchildren the age of those poor innocent children. So senseless

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  11. There are no words. Keep Newtown in yuor heart.

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  12. I'm not sure anyone can explain to me in sufficient terms how the perpetrator ever came to act out in such a manner.
    But I am so tired of the major media outlets working so hard to one-up each other.
    All they are actually doing is giving so much attention that the next one, God forbid, will try to top it.

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  13. I have a Kindergartener. Every Tuesday I work in his classroom and help with "center time". I have come to know each of the kids in his class. They all call me "Andrew's Mom" and they are all so sweet, so full of energy and so eager to learn and make friends... I just love them all. The thought of my son and his sweet classmates getting gunned down by some deranged crazy man... well, I just can't even imagine it without tearing up. I just can't. I couldn't ever recover from something like that. I don't know how those parents in Connecticut will go on with this forever on their hearts.

    I don't know what the answer is. Tougher gun laws don't seem to be the answer. The bad guys out there won't follow the rules; if they want guns and ammo, they will get them somehow. Do we need to have security at every single school in America? That doesn't seem to be the answer, either. Because the ones who really want to do harm will find a way, will find a place without security: an open park with kids playing on the playground... a soccer field with many kids' soccer games going on.. there really is no way to prevent such evil. We can be frisked at every mall, movie theater, every restaurant. But people will still gather in open areas. There will still be many other opportunities for evil to strike, places where we cannot possibly be frisked or walk through metal detectors. Evil will find a way. I'm not as optimistic as you that we will eventually "defeat evil" -- it's really just getting worse and worse as the years go on.

    How are these psychopaths created in the first place? Maybe THAT is where we go to fix this. What are we doing wrong, as a society, where kids grow up to do such evil? WHAT could have gone so terribly wrong during this guy's upbringing? And I don't mean to blame the parents. But there must have been SOMETHING! Good, healthy-minded people usually do not just SNAP like that and become mass-murderers.

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  14. There are always going to be people whose heads are in a wrong place, who will go out and do horrific things, using their freedom to remove other people's freedom... freedom to live, to breathe, to make their own life choices.
    No one is safe, anywhere.

    The best you can do is be observant of what is going on around you, taking care not to put yourself at risk and hope. Hope that the bad thing that happens today doesn't happen to anyone you love.



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  15. I am still reeling - and then I think of the parents and I realize that my 'distant' grief is but a scratch to the flesh wound felt deep and unrepairable to their loss and their sense of emptiness.

    I can not come to grips. I am still struggling to make sense, and I know that I never will in this case.

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  16. Sadly, evil will always be with us. What we can do is be the ones who shine light and love in the world, it is the most powerful weapon that we have.

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