For the first, almost 20, years of my life I lived in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown, CT. If you are from Newtown and someone asks you where you are from, odds are, they have never heard of it. It’s usually described as a small town near Danbury, but it is actually the fifth largest town in the state. It just has that small town feel.
The doors to our house were never locked. Our cars were usually sitting in the driveway with the keys in the ignition. In the summer we would go to Dickinson Park and swim in the “pool” or play on funspace, the big playground built by the community. Saturday mornings were for soccer games, with kids from all four of the town’s elementary schools and Sunday mornings meant breakfast at My Place with my Dad.
There was the Ice Cream Shop where it always seemed to be “Zebra Week” and you could try to find pictures of yourself or your friends on the wall while you waited for a cone or an avalanche. If you drove by during the colder months you would see they were “Gone Fishin.”
I remember $2 movies, ice skating and trick-or-treating with my neighbors, the tree lighting, the Party Naked guy, basketball games with the New York Giants and trying to catch a stuffed animal at the Labor Day parade. I remember when the Newtown Indians became the Newtown Nighthawks and how upset everyone was about it. I remember the house with all the toilets in the front yard, hanging out at the town hall and then the center and all the secret party spots hidden away in the woods.
Although I did not attend Sandy Hook School, it was a part of my community. I always thought it was so cool how they had the Jolly Green Giant’s giant green footprints on the road leading up to the school.
When I heard the news of the shooting on Friday morning at first I was shocked and then I thought, “Oh, it’s probably nothing, it’s Newtown.” But as the day went on and more and more details were released, I was just in utter disbelief. My heart is broken for so many people and I just want to do something, anything to help. But where do you even begin?
Now my little home town is on the map because of a tragedy. A tragedy that never should have happened and has so many people asking, “Why?”