Newtown, CT – December 9, 2016
At this time of year, bells chime, but in our town they also toll – With the passage of years, the sounds of the chimes have become louder than that of the tolls, illustrating that, as with most things, time heals wounds. And while they do heal, the scars that cover them serve as a permanent reminder, and well it should. For the cause of some wounds should never be forgotten, never denied, never excused. Four years ago, a disturbed young man who grew up and lived in our community executed 20 children and seven adults. No one knows why, but we all know how. Since then many more have been executed, some by terrorists, some by neighbors. The number of scars keeps growing. Ours was ripped open recently when a revisionist replayed a myth that sprung up shortly after the slayings, that it was all a hoax. To those who want to perpetuate that myth I ask some simple questions: Were you there when their lifeless bodies were picked up from the classrooms? Were you there when they mopped up their innocent blood from the school’s hallways? Were you there when they nailed their coffins shut? Were you there when they shoveled dirt on their graves?
What this means to you – Anyone can say anything because that is the way of a democracy, but when truths are denied, distorted or cast aside, we have an obligation to speak up and be the witnesses to the truth that we are called to be. The voices of those who spread lies and evil must be drowned out. At this time of the year, let them be drowned out by the chimes that announce the Good News, and the spin of the dreidels that recall a faith commitment, even as the bells toll for the remembrance of lost souls. We can’t change the past, but we have an obligation to honor it, good and bad. For it’s only by doing so that we can hope to correct the mistakes that led to the bad and build on what led to the good.