People must find a way to move on from tragedy. The alternative is to give in to despondency, fear and anger, which is really no alternative at all. The most resilient of our species are the youngest, our children.
So just three weeks after the unspeakable tragedy that befell the Sandy Hook Elementary School, there were smiles and laughter, greetings and renewals of grade-school friendships, as the students returned to class; not to the building where 20 first-grade students and six educators were murdered, but to a former middle school in neighboring Monroe renamed Sandy Hook Elementary. Teachers and community volunteers had done all they could to make their new school look like the old one with walls repainted in familiar colors, student artwork relocated from the former classrooms, along with desks, chairs and other furnishings.
After 26 funerals and many vigils it was a day of renewal and hope.
There will certainly be emotional scars. Counselors will remain available for students and teachers as they sort through the residual trauma from that horrible day. For parents it had to be difficult to see their children climb back on school buses or be dropped off at the door. Yet they know this is the right choice, life must go on.
Our hearts go out to the parents who no longer have a child to send back to school, those lives taken by a demented gunman outfitted with a weapon of war. For those parents the journey of moving on will be far more difficult.