It is December 14. This day used to be remembered as the day a man walked on the moon in 1972. Also on this day in 1911, Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. Now, December 14th is known as the day of the most vicious and heinous crime in the history of our country. It was six years ago today when a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed twenty-six people. The majority of the victims were students. Every year since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, December 14th has a different meaning.
I feel the same anger and sadness I felt the day it happened. This year is slightly different because not too long ago the idea of school shooting hit close to home because of what happened at Noblesville West Middle School. This year on the anniversary of Sandy Hook, I am going to remind myself why I entered this profession and also think about the lives that were snuffed away on that fateful December day. This year, six years after Sandy Hook, I will remember the promise I made to educate and protect children.
I made a promise that day to work harder to educate every child I come into contact with as an educator. I made a promise to always protect the children underneath my watch. Safety measures in schools across the country have tightened in response. Schools have become more controlled about who comes in and comes out of the buildings. People are screened a lot more and the open-door policies of many schools are decreasing.
I made a promise that day to do something that means something. Sandy Hook did not make me fearful as an educator that something like this could happen at my school. It did not make me question the intention of when people walked into the school building.
I made a promise that I plan on keeping. Sandy Hook was a reminder of why I became an educator. It was about the promise I made as an educator to ensure my students have a future, a future that is full of promising results academically But most importantly, I am here to prepare them for their future. The children who lost their lives six years ago won’t have a future to live; however, their legacy lives through other children.
It is still unfair lives were cut short. It is unfair to the families that they do not get to celebrate birthdays and holidays with their loved ones. Six years later, I think about the parents of those victims. This year is different because, in April, I will be a parent.
I am looking forward to celebrating birthdays and holidays with my baby girl. I cannot imagine her life being taken away like the heinous crime that happened six years ago at Sandy Hook.
Six years later, I have the same message that I had last year to the Sandy Hook community that you are in my heart. You are in my thoughts and prayers. This day comes every year, and hopefully each year the pain lessens a little. Those twenty-six people will never be forgotten. Their memories will live on forever. I hope you find time on this day to remember the smiles they left on everyone faces.
Six years later, I promise to never forget the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary.