Nearly six years ago, in the wake of a mass shooting at
Trolley Square, I stood outside that historic building, just three blocks from
our home, and watched the coroner’s trucks line up to take the bodies away.
I wondered then, and for a long time afterward, if I would
ever be able to pass that place and not think of the terrible things that had
And for a long time, I couldn’t.
But I have passed there nearly every day since, and we have
been there together on many occasions, and time has done its work. I rarely
think of that terrible night.
I did tonight, though. Of course I did. How could I not?
I did a few months ago, too, when a troubled young man
walked into a crowded theater in Colorado and opened fire, killing 12 people
and wounding 58 others.
And I did tonight, when yet another troubled young man
walked into an elementary school in Connecticut and killed at least 26 people,
most of them children.
How can I explain such madness to you? How can I explain
such hate, such evil?
But at some point — some time soon, I suppose — I’ll have to
There was a great man who passed from this earth not quite a
decade ago, who said that a parent’s job, in the face of tough questions, is to
find “the simplest truthful answers.”
Tonight seems as good a time to try to do that as any.
Sometimes people hurt. And sometimes they hurt so bad, that
they feel the only thing to do is to hurt other people. That doesn’t ever work,
though, and in fact it only creates more pain — pain that goes on for years and
years and sometimes never subsides.
Time does not heal all wounds. But nor are we forever stuck
on days like today. Find the simplest truthful answers for yourself and for
others, and then do what you can to move on, while offering love, sympathy and
compassion for those who cannot.