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Letter: For the Love of Our Children

To the Editor:

One of America’s ugliest anniversaries arrives on Dec. 14, the day 26 people were senselessly killed at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. At the request of the families of victims, people will stand in remembrance of the lives lost to gunfire on that terrible day and since. Nearly 30,000 people have died from guns in the U.S. since the Newtown shootings, according to Slate.com (it tracks gun deaths in the U.S. regardless of cause and without comment) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I reflect on what the Newtown families have gone through, in awe of the wisdom and strength that grows in them in spite of their unthinkable losses. First, they guided us toward reconciliation and progress through the Sandy Hook Promise, which a quarter million people have signed, and now they are leading the way again. Their invitation to Parent Together reads: “Parent Together calls parents across America to put aside their differences and focus on the common bond we all share — the love we have for our children — and use this as a starting point to help find and implement sensible solutions to prevent gun violence and save lives in our communities and country. Focused in the areas of mental wellness, community connectedness and gun safety, these solutions include programs we can actively work to implement in our communities today, as well as policy actions we can support at state and federal levels.”

Please come join your neighbors at these local vigils. Bring your candles and your hopes, prayers and intention to build a safer world for our children. The vigils will take place on Thursday, Dec. 12, in Hanover on the Dartmouth Green from 4 to 5 p.m., and in Woodstock at the town green from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.; and on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Hartland in front of Town Hall from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., in Springfield, Vt., in the Main Street parking lot from 4:30 to 5 p.m., in Norwich at the town green from 4 to 5 p.m., and in Thetford Center from 4 to 5 p.m. at the green beside the United Church. For more information, go to gunsensevt.eventbrite.com.

Kathleen Shepherd