Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A message for the Class of 2024

It's all been said already.  I've read a lot of it. Seems like everyone has a blog and opinion on the events that happened in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday.  As always, the tragedy has been politicized, causing emotionally-charged arguments over gun control and mental health issues.  I don't want to talk about that.

What I want to talk about is the future.  In eleven years, the Class of 2024 will graduate from high school.  My first born will be a member of that group of kids.  They will look at the future with stars in their eyes as they prepare for adulthood, whether it means college, traveling abroad, working to buy that dream car, whatever.  But may this class of newly christened adults never forget that there are 20 less of them in this world to reach for those dreams.  Let them imagine that day when they were in first grade and it was a normal Friday when they did their spelling test "for real" and completed their timed addition test and maybe got to hop up to the next level.  Let them imagine eating cheese pizza in the cafeteria, or PBJ from home.  Let them imagine saying the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the birthdays on the intercom.  Let them remember practicing Reader's Theater for the upcoming class Christmas party.  Let them imagine PE. Recess. Their classmates. Their precious teachers and administrators.

Then let them remember the day when their parents chose to tell them about what happened to those 20 kids and 7 teachers that day in December 2012.  It may be several years down the road when they first hear about it.  But let them hear about it.  May their hearts feel something when they hear. Let them know they are safe, and protected. And loved.  And when they walk the graduation stage, let them remember. There should be 20 more of them in this world. Let them draw inspiration from the lives that were lost.  Let them live more intentionally in honor of those 20.  Let them be thankful for the love and courage of the 7.

Let us all remember.