Ubiquitous, numerous, tenacious, local and international, the presence of the media has become the topic of many conversations- both public and private. Some find comfort in the ability to share their gratitude to those who have enfolded us in their prayers and hold us in their hearts. Others hope that what is seen here will move our legislators from passive discussions to meaningful actions that will demonstrate children are more precious than any lobbyist and more important than a bid for re-election. Many would like to bid our guests safe journey so that we can privately mourn and begin the process of healing.
Surprisingly-through tweets, blogs and other venues- journalists have revealed they are among the Many. In off the record conversations focusing on hometowns, families, and world travels, it has become clear that their needs as parents are similar to ours- but they are bound by their profession and the direction of those tucked in offices hundreds and thousands of miles away.
Recently, as reporters were doing the final live presentation for the day and members of the media were shuffling in and out of Town Hall, I asked one gentleman what was the most uplifting, fun, story he had covered in his travels around the world. A sad smile crept across his face as he replied, “I don’t cover those.” He, and many like him, move from one tragic story to another- Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, Aurora, Newtown- reporting heart wrenching stories in the hope someone will listen and act. They have children, they have friends and families who brighten their lives- but the visits are far and few in between. That is a tragedy.
So as you, our guests, prepare to leave, I hope you take with you more than the heartbreaking assignment that brought you to our community. Take with you, the hugs, the celebrations of life, and the simple acts of kindness that shine like beacons in the darkest night. Take with you the remembrance of love, compassion, and fierce desire to affect positive change. Take with you an invitation to visit us- with your families -in the years to come and walk our streets, enjoy a two dollar movie, watch rubber ducks race down the river, and join our Labor Day Parade. Those are the memories of Newtown that you should hold in your hearts as you move to your next assignment.
Be safe in your travels and find peace with your families and friends. Be well.