Monday, January 14, 2013

Noah Pozner: keeping our kids alive

Today marks the one-month anniversary of the murder of twenty first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. A month ago today we lost our little Noah to mindless and ugly violence. Already his twin sister Arielle is saying sadly that sometimes she can't remember how he talked: she had never been separated from him, they were best friends. A big chunk of her, of her sister Sophia, of Noah's teenage siblings, of my daughter Veronique, of all of us has been amputated without anesthesia. It is the worst pain we have ever experienced. Frankly I don't think we'll ever recover: the kids will continue to grow, the teenagers will become adults, we will do our best to adjust. But nothing will be the same. Ever. Not for us, maybe not for the nation. The Sandy Hook massacre was too horrific for life ever to resume as before.
People often comment on our strength as a family. We never knew we were strong. We were just a regular family with its ups and downs, ordinary joys and ordinary sorrows. Nothing special. Since Noah was torn away from us though, we have discovered that, in the face of evil, being ordinary isn't enough. We have discovered the power of outrage. Noah was an amazing little fighter who loved karate and Ninja moves. He wouldn't want us to fade into the background and meekly accept that his fate is the price to pay to live in this country.
So we have been talking among us about the best way to bring about changes and keep our kids alive. We have been looking for measures that would be both effective and uncontroversial so that the country doesn't get bogged down in fruitless debate and we have come up with proposals.
For a summary of the initial steps we suggest, please read the following article, published today in the Hartford Courant:

Family Of Noah Pozner Calls For New Laws To Avert School Violence, Hold Gun Owners Accountable

Alternatively you may want to read the full-text of our memo to the White House Task Force on Gun Violence.

I know you share the outrage. Now time has come to share the strength. Speak up, bring your own ideas to the table, write to your representatives, march, do whatever needs to be done to help make sure the Newtown killing marks a new beginning for our nation. In the words of our President, "These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law -- no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that -- then surely we have an obligation to try."

59 comments:

  1. Oh MC,...I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. What can I say, what can I do to help any of you? You have all been the victims of a great unfathomable cruelty.

    My heart is with you.

    Lisa H

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    1. I have read so much about this tragedy. It haunts me more than anything I have ever experienced before. Perhaps it is because Sandy Hook School is so similar to the school my child attends and his sister attended before him. Or maybe because I'm a fixer and there is nothing I can do to fix this tragedy for the Sandy Hook families. It is part of my nature and my work to take things apart and look at all the elements that contributed and more often than not, it is attributable to a systems break down not simply one issue. In the case of Sandy Hook there were a number of contributing factors: mental health; readily accessible firearms; questionable parenting; an older school with poor protection; and, various degrees of preparedness for staff. We can’t immediately fix the mental health or questionable parenting problem and the firearms issue is becoming more and more of a hot spot on a daily issue. I do, believe, however, that we can easily fix the protection of the school and staff preparedness.

      I have looked at my own child’s school in the aftermath to consider how they might have fared under the same circumstances and it isn't good. Like Sandy Hook (as is my understanding), the classroom doors had to be locked by opening the door. In our case, they must be locked with a key from the outside. I find this completely impractical and, as was declared by some of the teachers interviewed from Sandy Hook, a scary process. I don’t know what the doors are like at Sandy Hook but both the external and internal doors at our school are archaic. The external doors for many schools are old, wooden and largely composed of single pane glass. The internal doors have a large glass piece directly beside the door handle making locking the door a complete waste of time as it would be too easy to smash the glass and open the door by putting your hand through to the other side and turning the handle. The Sandy Hook teachers spoke about covering the door windows with paper. In an emergency lock down situation, how much time could there possibly be to lock the door from the outside and then find paper and tape it to the window whilst quieting the children and getting them to a safe place all the while keeping your own fear in check? It seems very logical to me that all the doors both in and out ought to be composed of a sturdier less penetrable material such as steel, the windows ought to be smaller and placed higher and away from access to the door handles and the door be lockable from the inside. Moreover, could not each of the windows have a roller blind that could be pulled in an instant?

      With regards to staff preparedness, I saw a brief piece on CNN two nights in a row on preparedness for these types of situations. In fact, all incoming freshmen at one university will be put through the program upon entry to the college. As sad a reflection on our society as it is, it is clear that we need a comprehensive national program for all teachers and students so they are all trained in a standardized manner and that for teachers, certification/re-certification is required for employment.

      I have been relentlessly engaging in conversation with the principle, daycare director and school board about this in my neighbourhood and I urge every parent to do the same thing in theirs. Walk through your child’s school. Take pictures. Take a really hard look at where your child spends his/her day and what potential there is for concern. We simply cannot afford to address these safety issues and really make the necessary changes to protect our children.

      I commend your family MC for having the strength to sit down and make these recommendations in the midst of your grief. If you can do it, surely we all can as well.

      With kindest regards,

      Lisa Harper

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    2. My son goes to daycare three days a week. His daycare is also a school that goes to kindergarten. The doors are complete glass. You do have to be buzzed in to enter the school, but even in the wake of this tragedy, I have seen parents letting other parents in. I do not understand this. You do not know who that person is. Why are you holding the door for them?!!! Wait for them to be buzzed in. I'm also very surprised that the school is allowing this. A letter should be sent home to all patents to not let others into the school. I've adressed this issue once and I feel the need to do it again. I feel that there are still parents out there saying, "this won't happen to my kids!"

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  2. MC, you are totally correct. Gun owners do need to be held accountable for their property. A thought that had occurred to me yesterday, as we are having an addition added to our home, every phase of the construction has to be inspected by a county official. Ultimately, this is for our protection and I can appreciate this. What I do not understand is why do we not have the same sort of protection from people who choose to keep firearms in their homes? I fill that all gun owners should have secure places to keep their guns. A safe, a safe room - something. I fill that they should have to purchase a permit and have this secure place inspected by a local official to make sure that weapons are under lock down, according to stricter guidelines than just a pritty display cabinet with a glass door.

    Also, in North Carolina when you get a prescription from your doctor for any type of narcotic you must show your I.d. and this information goes straight into a database in Raleigh. This is in an effort to keep prescription drugs off the streets. Why do we not have a similar system in place for people trying to buy large amounts of ammunition?

    I am sure that we will never get rid of the common handguns and the common hunting guns, as much as I would love to live in a gun free society, I just don't know that this is going to be my reality. But I am a firm believer that no one needs assault weapons or large amounts of ammunition. I also know that I am tired of laws being passed to protect people from themselves, I personally more concerned about protecting the innocent from the ignorant and evil.

    I also want you and your family to know that as a mother, I have closed my eyes and imagined one of those children being mine. We are in this together. Noah is now a permanent in my home and heart. With great love.
    .
    .





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    1. The idea of having guns locked down kind of makes them useless for defending yourself on short notice. I don't want or own guns, but most everything I see proposed would have had little or no effect on this sad, sad incident. I wish I knew the answer.

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  3. Thank you MC. Thank you to you and Noah's entire family. We did not do enough to protect Noah and his friends, but in the midst of your immeasurable grief you are working hard to protect my babies. Our children deserve better. It is our responsibility to do better. Time to take responsibility for the society we have created. We all have a part to play. It's time to be the change we want to see in the world. It starts with each of us.

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  4. Fedra Tucci (Italia)January 14, 2013 at 5:57 AM

    Io mi chiedo come sia possibile che in un paese democratrico e moderno come gli USa, possa esistere una legge che favorisca la barbaria dell'uso e dell'acqusto libero delle armi. Parlano di libertà ma che paese libero è quello in cui vengono strappate delle vite di piccoli innocenti ed educatori che svolgono il proprio dovere nel sicuro (così dovrebbe essere ) delle scuole,in quei luoghi cioè dove noi adulti lasciamo crescere i nostri figli perchè diventino, a loro volta, uomini e donne migliori di noi? Contro ogni discorso ignorante basta vedere che, statisticamente, nei paesi dove le armi non sono libere, dove non si vendono questi strumenti di morte come caramelle nei supermercati, dove pure ci sono persone psicologicamente malate o deviate, queste tragedie non avvengono.
    Purtroppo nessuno potrà restituire la vostra creatura Noa e gli altri innocenti, ma lottare per cambiare le leggi di questo vostro paese è possibile. E' l'unica cosa da fare per onorare i vostri morti e non rendere vano il loro assurdo sacrificio. Io non sono cittadina americana, vivo lontano ma vi seguirò sempre e diffonderò questa cultura sui blog e su facebook. Se fosse possibile farei qualsasi cosa per aiutarvi in questa battaglia.Grazie anche per il vostro esempio coraggioso. Sono convinta che tutto questo produrrà qualcosa di buono. Di sicuro, combattere è un dovere imprescindibile!!!
    Grazie Fedra Tucci

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  5. I a soooo sorry that we did not take heed from the events in the past to have acted before now to have protected Sandy Hook before this unimaginable tragedy.

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  6. The Memo does Noah proud.

    Let's hope change comes soon.
    Julia

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  7. Noah's family has done a great job with the memo to the White House. You sure make people proud of you. Because you put into written lines what so many people think. Keep up the fight!
    You are right, you will never stop to grieve, to miss him, to imagine how life would have been with him. It will never stop to hurt.
    We are with you. I am proud of you that you found the streght to speak up, to go on, to encourage other people to stay or get involved. Stick with it. It will sure lead to something greater!
    I don't find any words. I am grieving with you, for Noah , for the others killed.
    Many greatings from Spain

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  8. MC, thank you for you and your family's strong and courageous role into measures that must be taken in order to keep our children safe at school. I agree with all of your points... they brilliantly combine all of the necessary issues into a clear, cohesive and obtainable plan. I will support you in any way that I can. The only thing that I disagree with you on is that you and your family are not ordinary, but, in fact, extraordinary. May God bless you today and everyday.
    Erin Gill

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  9. MC, thank you and your family so much for fighting to keep our children safer! My children are only 2.5 and one. My husband and I will be sending them to school for many years and the "what ifs" are heavy on our mind. I have thought about Noah everyday since December 14th. I will not forget his beautiful face! Keep fighting for our kids and I will do the same!

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  10. MC -
    you and your family are courageous in the light of such pain. I know you say that you were just an ordinary family with ordinary lives but it's exactly what you are doing right now despite or rather because of that pain that makes your family special. Noah was special. Noah is special because his family loves his so much and no one can ever take that love, that love you feel for him away from you. And no one can take the love he has for you away. Love is fluid. Love is forever. And in his loving memory you are fighting for him and for all of the other children in this country who can't fight for themselves.

    And as a mother of two little boys I thank you and i join you. I would love to honor your Noah however i can in big and meaningful ways. I started this weekend by introducing Tacos to my son (he's totally picky) but LOVED them. Is there any special way that Noah liked to eat his Tacos? I would love it if you would be willing to share his personal recipe.

    Today must be very difficult for your family, marking one month since he was taken from you. I am very sorry.

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  11. I have been following your blog and really appreciate your openness and honesty. We all grieve with you, though obviously differently. It has been one month which is a big transition in the mourning calendar, and I like that you have begun to transition to "action" from "grieving". Please know that there are many people like you who are working for change in the state governments and with the federal government. (My wife is one of such people).

    You mention "strength"--I don't know how to characterize that notion. Human nature is to "move on" and "keep living" even if empty or sad. I do not wish for you or your family to be "strong" but rather to be "together" and "alive". If you can do that, strength will follow I guess, but really, I wish for you to find meaning in your lives while sanctifying the memory of Noah.

    Your blog has certainly done that, and as you turn your grieving to action and "day-to-day" life, that is where I see the strength coming from. I wish you and your family (and the greater Sandy Hook community) recovery and peace if possible. In the meantime, please know that you are not alone in your fight or your grief. Even though we don't know you or the Pozner family personally, we support your and love you from all over the world.

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  12. How does one send a private message to MC

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    1. Moniqm62,
      let me know when you figure it out. Because I would like to be involved with this gun issue. And to get my Utah representative involved.....we need to be on the same page with these grief stricken families.

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    2. mc.farine@gmail.com is my email address.

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  13. MC, You and your family are doing the right thing. Unfortunately there will be people who are not happy with this gun issue. But it will take them to be hit with a tragedy like this, before they come to terms with reality and what is best for the children in the United States. As you go through this journey, I hope you don't let others distract you or upset you more. I know in my heart, as well as your family, that we as parents, who love our children so much, will be there to support you to the end. Congress needs to change a whole lot. And they should highly consider the people who have been most effected. The ones who still want to carry these high power weapons, are in need of a wake-up call. This is America. My twin sister and I served this country, my husband served, my father was a Navy Seal, well most of my family has served. Death is not an easy thing to face. And I didn't serve this country to allow our innocent children to be killed on American soil. Congress should be ashamed. The laws should have changed a long time ago. And I agree with someone else, Inspection of each person with a licensed gun to make sure its secured properly in a certified gun safe should be a law. And inspection should be like vehicle registration. They make laws to have it inspected......why not guns???? Only difference, inspection is done in your house....and to prove you have it locked in a safe. And if you allow someone else to take off with your gun, then yes you should be held responsible. If it was stolen, then report it. Is Congress being paid by the gun manufacturers or from NRA? Because that is what I suspect. They are being paid to allow laws to be passed and make it easy for someone to obtain a gun. Well Congress, I'm sorry, Stand up for these fallen children, because they served our country too! Maybe moms should start (MAGV)--- Moms against Gun Violence! I have 3 beautiful boys who knew what happened in Sandy Hook. Why did I tell them? Because I don't hide this world from them. I want them to understand that this is the world we live in. And there are bad people out there. I don't want them to trust any single sole out there. Shamefully, my children's response, "Mommy, I don't want to die like that". I tell them. You have moms standing up for what happened. WE are trying to change things for the better. We won't give up. Truth of the matter is, we have parents out there in denial of their mentally ill children. I am raising my kids to know that denial is not the solution. Its a problem!

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  14. MC, it breaks my heart to hear that Noah's voice is fading from his sister's memory. She unfortunatley only had six years with him and that was far too short a time. It is so unfair that all of you, esp his best friend, will only be with Noah through stories and photographs until the day comes when we will all be together again. I feel very blessed to have had 31 yrs with my beloved grandmother, but that somehow felt like it wasn't long enough. I miss Noah everyday for you and your family and I want him back so badly for you and your family so more memories and funny stories can be experienced. He was so loved by you all and he seemed like such a happy guy. It is a pleasure to see his beautiful, smiling face in your photos.

    I plan on attending the Million Mom March in two weeks and pray that many, many others will attend as well. I am so tired of hearing the NRA "talk their talk" and insert their views into something they have not emotionally experienced as you and the other families have. It is such a relief that so many others are stepping forward and are attempting to protect people, especially children, in a sane and logical fashion. Arming teachers and adding more weapons to schools is not the right answer. I also hope that those spewing their Second Ammendment rights all over everyone will take a long, hard look at themselves and figure out why gun possession is their top priority in life.
    Priveleges (i.e. firearm possesion) should be taken away if abused and that definitely has been the case over the last 13 years.

    I am hoping that positive changes will be take place in this country over the next few weeks and that maybe a sense of peace will come over all of us. I think of Noah and his friends taken from all of us one month ago and hope we will make them proud. They deserve our love and complete attention.

    Big hugs and prayers for all you!

    Charlotte Arnold

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  15. MC, You and your family are doing the right thing. Unfortunately there will be people who are not happy with this gun issue. But it will take them to be hit with a tragedy like this, before they come to terms with reality and what is best for the children in the United States. As you go through this journey, I hope you don't let others distract you or upset you more. I know in my heart, as well as your family, that we as parents, who love our children so much, will be there to support you to the end. Congress needs to change a whole lot. And they should highly consider the people who have been most effected. The ones who still want to carry these high power weapons, are in need of a wake-up call. This is America. My twin sister and I served this country, my husband served, my father was a Navy Seal, well most of my family has served. Death is not an easy thing to face. And I didn't serve this country to allow our innocent children to be killed on American soil. Congress should be ashamed. The laws should have changed a long time ago. And I agree with someone else, Inspection of each person with a licensed gun to make sure its secured properly in a certified gun safe should be a law. And inspection should be like vehicle registration. They make laws to have it inspected......why not guns???? Only difference, inspection is done in your house....and to prove you have it locked in a safe. And if you allow someone else to take off with your gun, then yes you should be held responsible. If it was stolen, then report it. Is Congress being paid by the gun manufacturers or from NRA? Because that is what I suspect. They are being paid to allow laws to be passed and make it easy for someone to obtain a gun. Well Congress, I'm sorry, Stand up for these fallen children, because they served our country too! Maybe moms should start (MAGV)--- Moms against Gun Violence! I have 3 beautiful boys who knew what happened in Sandy Hook. Why did I tell them? Because I don't hide this world from them. I want them to understand that this is the world we live in. And there are bad people out there. I don't want them to trust any single sole out there. Shamefully, my children's response, "Mommy, I don't want to die like that". I tell them. You have moms standing up for what happened. WE are trying to change things for the better. We won't give up. Truth of the matter is, we have parents out there in denial of their mentally ill children. I am raising my kids to know that denial is not the solution. Its a problem!

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  16. I have been following you for awhile. Today I posted this (http://dailyrumpus.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-letter-to-my-daughter.html), partly inspired by you. I stand with you and your family and will take on that obligation however I can. xo

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    1. Sarah, your words are my every moment's feelings exactly. I have 3.5 year old boy/girl twins. I do not look at them the same, down to the dirt under their fingernails..... Yesterday my little girl Nonie said "I have ONE special friend" we were at church in a roomful of children; we asked "who?", she said Isaac (her brother), it brought me to tears for Arielle........ thank you for your letter......sherri

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  17. Thank you, MC and I believe that Noah is speaking through you. He had an indominatable spirit and he was a fighter, as you say. I believe that our loved ones live on through us and you are doing his work. I agree with you, that I do not believe our nation will ever be quite the same, after such an atrocious tragedy as Sandy Hook. We lost our innocence and beauty, and revealed an underbelly of ugliness, hatred and evil.

    This is a an excellent place to start, with DC and legislators and gun control. I feel very strongly that more emphasis needs to be placed on mental health screening, and the need for involuntary commitment of the mentally ill.

    The photos of Noah are just heartbreaking, each one more so, what a happy, vibrant little boy he was! He was always smiling and I am happy that he knew love and happiness in his all too brief life. It is sad that his twin is starting to forget his voice and memory, it makes it more real for the remaining family members as well.

    With love and comfort to you and your family, you will remain in my prayers, as will Noah's soul and the other childrens' souls. xoxox

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  18. The presidents words about no excuse for inaction remind me of an Elie Wisel quote.

    "It may well be that our means are fairly limited and our possibilities restricted when it comes to applying pressure on our government. But is this a reason to do nothing? Despair is nor an answer. Neither is resignation. Resignation only leads to indifference, which is not merely a sin but a punishment."

    -Elie Wisel

    Without dialogue change can't occur. Kudos to your family for starting this dialogue even when it is so painful. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  19. MC, MSNBC just reported that the President is not going to consider executive actions when it comes to gun control. The only other option is legislative. The only way gun control will pass Congress is if it's very weak. Please, when your family meets with WH officials, stress that executive actions must be on the table. Remind President Obama of the Emancipation Proclamation. President Obama needs to standup for Noah and all citizens who have lost their lives due to gun violence.

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    1. Hello Cheryl, I just caught a glimpse of President Obama speaking. He said he would use executive action to put gun control measures in place. I have faith that he will, especially after looking into the eyes of the grieving families of the victims of this tradgedy.

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  20. Beautifully written and well done. Very happy to hear such thoughtful analysis. I share your anger and outrage, but I want to push for gun control also. If we don't at least try, we won't get anywhere and the 'rampage weapons' and their owners have won. I can't believe the sandbox analogy doesn't apply here, 'sorry but a few bad apples ruined it for the rest of you.' We can't handle the responsibility that comes with ownership of these weapons, as recent events including Sandy Hook demonstrate.

    “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work
    to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of
    courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for
    an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against
    injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from
    a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current
    which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
    ― Robert F. Kennedy

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  21. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Meade

    Grassroot efforts and demonstrations have been the seat of change in many movements in this country, particularly labor, which helped bring about worker rights.

    We can never underestimate the power of the people for change, it is up to us to take charge and help develop the proper policy. I am partial to having a balanced representation of women in government, as we are the mothers!

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  22. MC, I saw you this morning on TV.....no matter how ordinary you think you and your family are, we are all the same, ordinary. Your family has experienced and un-ordinary experience. How does one cope ? How do we stay strong in the face of such loss ? No one can answer that question. I worked in the Neo Natal ICU many years ago, It is human nature to want to protect and love our children. As a mother and grandmother, I can not endure the thoughts of what happened one month ago. I constantly have to push it out of my mind because I feel so helpless to make this right. I know that evil exists and that there are very sick people out there who will continue to murder our most precious innocent children.
    As an ordinary person, I too will never forget your Noah, because I love my children and grandchildren, I want to do anything to assure them that they are safe and we as adults have the responsibilty to ensure that safety. I know your daughter deals with death every day as a Oncology Nurse, She has an incredible gift to bring peace and love to her patients. We as nurses are strong, but nothing can prepare us for the loss of one of our own. Please know that I will continue to pray for you and your family, May Noah always stay in your thoughts and heart and continue to give you signs of his love. We have to believe he is in a better place, in the arms of the Lord, never to feel pain again. By your pictures it is apparent that he was loved by his earthly family, it is up to us to make sure his death was not in vain. Much love to you and your family.

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    1. Joanne, where did you see her on TV? I would like to see if I can find it.

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    2. http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/13/16496402-newtown-police-chief-adds-voice-to-call-for-assault-weapons-ban?lite

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  23. It's hard to believe that one month has passed. There is not one day that has passed since I've seen Noah's beautiful picture that I have not thought of or even not shed a tear for him. It was a senseless act of hate and cruelty that no will understand or fix. It is not easy to face and I know that your family will never be the same. I know I will never be the same. However your family does have a huge support system from all areas of the world. We will fight the good fight to keep our children safe and to keep Noah's name and spirit alive.

    Much love and prayers for Noah and his beautiful family from Modesto, Ca.

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  24. MC it breaks my heart to know that Arielle is having problems remembering what Noah talked like. I am sure that her and Sophia are leaning on one another quite a bit now in there disrupted lives. I know that your family has amazing strength and you will do your best to "love it better". We can never take this pain away. I pray for the family daily, but especially Arielle and Sophia. In a child's mind I can not even begin to imagine the loss. My love to you and your family.

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  25. Thank you, thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you! Today is the first day in a month I have not had an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.

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  26. Dear MC,
    Not a day has gone by, since December 14th that I have not thought of Noah and prayed for you and your family. I will continue to do so. While I pray for all of the victim's families, Noah has captivated my heart, something about the way he tilts his head in the picture of him at the book fair, that happy smile...what a likeable guy!
    I hope that all of the prayers, kind words and deeds of others will continue to sustain you and your family during this difficult time. I also feel, as you do that the time has come for action. We must ensure that a horrific crime like this will not occur again! I will join you in the fight! I have signed the Sandy Hook Promise, and will post the link on my Facebook page and encourage friends to do the same. I am also going to write my local Congressman and Senator to urge them to fight for stricter gun control laws. I will post a copy of my letter, so that others may do the same. Let us all be more vigilant, of our friends, neighbors and acquaintances. It is my understanding that the perpetrator of this horrific crime made Twitter posts stating his intent. No one reported it!
    I am obligated to join this fight, not only as a parent of a first grader and two other young children, but also to ensure that at the very least, Noah's death and the death of his classmates may not have been in vain. God Bless you and your family Miss MC. Much love and hugs from NJ...Courtenay

    "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools" MLK Jr.

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  27. I just sent a note to Victoria this very morning, saying what an inspiration your family is to me. You make the world a better place, both because Noah was in it, and because you are the people that you are. I am so very grateful. I think of you all every day, and am learning from you. Thank you and much love. Lana (Emily Moon)

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  28. Dear MC and family,

    Today marks the 1 months anniversary of the fallen. Know that I have cried everyday with you and the other families for our angels. These angels were strangers to me yet there is a strong bond. It may sound silly but I have also dreamt of many of them. This includes your beloved Noah. This can only mean that God wants me to be involved in making our home a better place for the rest of the children. I will do whatever I can to help reduce the violence in our society. I have read your proposals in making the schools a safer place. A suggestion if I may. If one owns a gun, he/she should be taxed and there should be an annual renewal fee and criminal check. Our leaders tax the rich. They should tax gun owners also. The money derived from this can either be used for school safety or a mental illness hospital. I am still praying for you all and hope that together we can help make this country a safer place.

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  29. MC-

    You have my full support. I'm doing what I can, I've emailed my state representatives, signed anti-gun violence petitions, I'm on board it The Sandy Hook Promise. I agree that there isn't just one issue and there is no easy answer, but inaction is not an option.

    I think about the schools in my community and I have to believe they are similar accross the U.S., mostly glass entry ways. the schools in my community are putting in buzzer systems similar to Sandy Hook, but with all the glass, unless it's bullet proof what good does it do other than potentially slow someone down?

    I cry often over this tragedy, especially for Noah (maybe because he reminds me of my youngest son), and have woken up at 2AM angry, with my mind racing thinking how could such a horrible thing happen and how do we prevent it from happening again? When is it enough? Why do people love weapons more than they value life? Our rights and amendendments are nice, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be rules, laws and restrictions. Sadly, we've become such a selfish society where it's all about us and what we want. These are the things I think about and the questions I ask myself. I look at my children and think what kind of world have I brought you into.

    I choose to follow the lead of the families in Newtown and live with hope and love and hope that my voice will make difference.

    LKessler
    Michigan

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  30. Farine, I am still away from home and stealing minutes between meetings to connect here because today marks the first month without Noah and without so many kids and their beloved teachers

    I agree with you, no one will recover from this tragedy - not fully. And no one should.

    I will join you and your family in any possible way to fight for the end of this type of non-sense.

    a big hug going your way, wish I cuould write more

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  31. In case anyone hasn't seen MC on NBC. So incredibly glad you are speaking out as no one will be a better advocate for sensible solutions than the families affected.

    http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/13/16496402-newtown-police-chief-adds-voice-to-call-for-assault-weapons-ban?lite

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  32. MC,
    Will your family be one of the families on AC360 tonight?

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    1. Your beautiful granddaughter did such a lovely job sharing her thoughts and memories of Noah when speaking with Anderson Cooper tonight!

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  33. Dear MC , Thank you for taking the time to share this with all of us on a day we know must be very difficult day for you and your family . Not a day goes by I don't think of all of you hourly and the devastating loss all of the families have had to endure.I was so proud of Noahs entire Family when I read the memo today I could not wait to call everyone i knew to say "I told you Noah's family would not Grieve in silence they will bring change they have that much love and strength " Noah is so proud of all of you..as are we all . Please let us know if there is anything we can do to all you in your quest for a safer and peaceful place for us all.Love and hugs to all of the families in Newtown we love you all !

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  34. For the first time in my life, I've written letters to my senators imploring them to do the right thing, to stand up to the NRA and support a ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips. Nothing has ever hit me the way this tragedy has - not Columbine, not 9/11, not VA Tech - and I just feel as if I have to do something, no matter how small.

    Your family is amazing in their strength and courage - and I continue to think of Noah and smile even as I have to blink back tears at the same time. Many hugs to you...

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  35. MC, I think of Noah daily. I just read the proposal your family sent to the White House, and I am impressed. I understand that as your family delves deeper into the many issues surrounding this tragedy that it may change. I have joined Gabby Giffords organization, but quite frankly I want to do what I can in Noah's name so please keep posting as to what specifically we can do. You have a lot of people here who want to help, but we are not sure how. They say that all politics is local and I believe that to be true. Great things can get accomplished by those of us who feel passionate about a cause. So many great changes in this country were the result of ordinary people getting together to do extraordinary things. I always think of Noah and wish nothing, but peace and solace for you and your family.

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  36. I am a supporter of the Second Amendment and gun rights; I believe that protecting our children should focus on mental health and school security because it is what I believe will be the most effective way. Most previous massacres, equally devastating, were committed using handguns and/or shotguns. I don't believe banning assault weapons will do much, as these types of weapons account for very few gun-related deaths, relatively speaking. Despite our differing opinions on the subject of assault weapons (and I do not wish to start a debate or upset anyone, just stating why I believe what I believe), I do agree wholeheartedly with your memo to the White House. It's very reasonable and contains points that many will agree with. Noah and the other precious children did not die in vain. I can't believe it's been a whole month since Sandy Hook, and I would like to, once again, offer my deepest condolences and prayers to you and your family.

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    1. I am not a supporter of the second amendment and gun rights. It would make a big difference to a mass killing or a single person being shot, so quite a difference on the contrary to what you believe, everyone is entitled to their own opinion though. And tighter gun control is part of the answer for sure among the other things you mention 'combined', that is more likely than not going to make this sort of thing more difficult to occur again.

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    2. Oh how I wish gun control could be the magical answer, really I do. Making assault weapons (well, anything really) illegal will not stop evil that is determined to get them. With so many guns already in circulation, it would not be very difficult. Besides, you can ban assault weapons but that still leaves semi-automatic handguns (such as glocks) which can be nearly as deadly. I can go on and on but don't want to get into a long winded debate over it. I am not opposed to all gun control. Controlling who gets them legally, making sure they're secure in the home, and mandatory gun training for each carrier is important, I believe. Also securing our schools with bulletproof glass, doors, and locks, in addition to panic buttons would help keep the children safe. Also important is a strong community, where potential problems are communicated and law enforcement personnel are involved not only as officers, but as neighbors, friends, and family. I believe that this combination (among other things) would make our communities much more secure.

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  37. MC. I am not surprised how you are all feeling and that you feel you will all never get over this, I wouldn't either if I am honest, how could we if our child is taken as yours and other children were from their most loving secure networks (family). It must have been heartbreaking and hard for you all too to hear how his twin can't remember how he talks already.

    I can't believe how much it's affected me and I am not family, the fact sweet innocent children were taken as they were and far too soon from their happy homes and lives they had is shocking and upsetting enough. Daily I remember, and daily Noahs face springs to mind, and it makes me feel very sad when ever I think of it, which is daily even if I don't want to have to for how sad it makes me, I do anyway. Today I was training for a new job in my profession and was aware of the fact I was thinking of Noah and the other children.

    Love to you all, I wish I could bring him and all of them back to you all, that's the worst part not being able to reverse it all.

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  38. Farine, my heart breaks for every soul lost one month ago today, but for some reason your grandson resonates especially strongly with me. I didn't know him, but something about his beautiful smile and his bright spirit sticks with me. I think of him every day. I'm sure you're getting this from a lot of people, but I just want you to know your family is not alone and that little Noah's memory will live on with us. We will not forget him. I think of your family often and I hope you can find some solace in your brave efforts to prevent this from happening again. I and many others will support you in this fight.

    I know Noah is in heaven eating tacos and playing games with his 19 precious friends.

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    1. And I respect Noah's family, at least they are trying to change things for the better, which is more than some people bother to do. It's obvious how precious their Noah was to them, for sure he did not die in vain. I already sent a strong message to the white house within a week of this event occurring on the recommendation of tighter gun controls.

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  39. I agree with what you propose too. Sadly I think some of the citizens in your country can be quite insensitive and not to mention narrow minded and gun lovers themselves, but don't let that hold you back (different if this had been their own child mind you), but the letter to the President, and hopefully him making changes without giving them any choice is a good way to go on that one.

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  40. Doors that automatically shut and lock (which could have kept Noah and his class mates safe) would be good, and that were bullet proof as well as the windows. It's a pity that door was not locked before he got in there, I know it doesn't help now though the what if's and I wish this and that since it's already happened.

    In addition to that, an emergency exit in the class rooms to the outside so they could have escaped would have been good and ideally out of that perpertrators view so he wouldn't have seen them escaping to try and go after them.

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  41. Your precious Noah is over the rainbow bridge playing with my little girl. In the four years since she was taken from us, not a day goes by that we don't think about her, or mention her name. Noah's beautiful sisters will carry him with them and he will never leave them. They may lose small details over time, but I promise that there will always be something here or there that brings back his presence and those fading memories will be sharp as though he were right there with them. Prayers and love to your whole family from a parent who is missing one of her own children. Though we didn't know him in life, we haven't forgotten your precious Noah, and I doubt we ever will. Until the day you are reunited with him, he's got my little girl to keep him company :-)

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  42. In my country ther is no gun control... we are not allowed to keep any guns. It's the police & military to have gus. No gun control at schools, as children have no access to it at home. Keepig the gun at home is nonsens. God never armed us with a gun. He gave us a possibility to choose between good & evil. Crimes do happen & will happen, no matter as much we want to stop it. But there is no explanaton of schooting to chilren, any schooting at all. Never/ Ever.
    Noah - rest in piece, I pray for this every day. I feel sorrow on your lost future.
    MC have strenght to live, to keep Him alive, to speak laud on His stolen righ to grow up, be happy, be Taco Factory Manager...
    Support Veronique, be near to your grandchildren... I think of you & Noah every day. Follow all your info. Keep doing, please. Alex

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  43. So surprised to read you here via the Bread Blog, I just joined today. There are no words, I too live in town, and the pain and sadness are indescribable. For your family, who are in my thoughts and prayers everyday, I cannot imagine.
    On Dec 14, when the news started to come in, what did I do? Bake bread. I hope that you will too find some solace in making bread.
    I assure you that I am looking everyday for avenues to make sure that this will not be forgotten, will not be for nothing. A line has been drawn in the sand.

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  44. MC, NY passed the 1st US gun control law since Newton massacre. Hopefully, many other states will follow. I don't know if this will ever stop these tragedy's, but its the first step, I know Noah did not die in vain. I am praying for you, your children, and grandchildren.

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  45. Fedra Tucci (Italia)January 16, 2013 at 5:48 AM

    Ci vuole molto coraggio per fare tutto questo e tanta tanta forza.Conosco bene cosa vuol dire ciò che sua figlia ieri ha detto in un'intervista...: che a volte non vorresti alzarti dal letto perchè con la morte di un figlio viene meno la voglia e anche la forza di vivere e anche solo di alzarti da letto. Ma poi ci sono glia altri, quelli che ti vogliono bene e allora ogni tuo gesto vitale lo fai per loro... Ma c'è del buono in tutto questo orrore e di cui io così lontana voglio personalmente ringraziarvi: con voi stiamo riscoprendo il valore della compassione e della condivisione che, grazie al web, supera le distanze, travalica i confini e attraversa i continenti...l'ho scritto anche alle altre famiglie. Non si può certo lenire il dolore più grande, quello che state vivendo, ma, a dispetto del freddo inverno, vogliamo offrirvi un pò di calore che da ogni parte del mondo possa raggiungervi e scaldarvi il cuore ... vogliamo almeno provarci ...un abbraccio fortissimo dalla lontana Italia ...che Dio vi benedica

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  46. Hello MC I read all of your Noah post.. I'm a 15 year old teenage boy and I just feel very bad for you, your daughter and the other family's who lost a child. I look at the pics of him and read your post and they really touch me.. I love the personality that you said he had. If I ever had a little brother that's how I always imagined him to be. Anyways I pray for you and your family and all of the other victims and hope you stay strong. I also took the image above and put it in black in white cause I thought it would look nice. Here is how it turned out and I hope you like it, Anyone can do it but here.
    http://s1340.beta.photobucket.com/user/awesomeone19976/media/Noah_zpsa7547dc3.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

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