Today, in a library a couple of miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School, a public hearing was held on a private nightmare.
Nelba Marquez-Greene, a family therapist with trauma training, who lost a six-year-old daughter in the attack:
“One of my specialties is trauma. But never in my worst nightmares did I think I would be the one experiencing this kind of trauma and appearing before you today,” she said.
(Illustration found here).
The rare public testimony by parents of the victims — 20 children, along with six school staff were killed — was before the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, charged with recommending reforms in school security, mental health and disaster response. Apparently, apathy is a problem.
From the Hartford Courant:
They spoke to the panel about the well-meaning but confused initial response to the families of the murdered children at the scene; about how fundraisers and memorials held without the families’ consent can be more hurtful than helpful; about the remaining murkiness, almost two years later, regarding where all the grant funding and other sources of money have gone; and about precisely what therapy, support and help is actually available to the families.
One by one, the three parents described how they only learned recently that case workers had been assigned to their families from the start.
They reported working with some counselors in the early months, but said those workers were often unprepared for the emotional intensity — and quit.
Marquez-Greene said she learned Ana was dead not from a police officer but from the silent, agonized expression on a case worker’s face when she asked about her child.
It was obvious, the parents all testified, that others knew the fate of the children well before the parents did.
The parents also testified about the need for family input into all major decisions about memorials, fund-raising, recovery initiatives and long-term family support.
“No one should speak for us,” said Richman (Jeremy Richman, who also lost a daughter).
Each parent said they will always be grateful to the first responders, the teachers, the community volunteers, their understanding neighbors, and the legions of strangers from all over the world who pushed a “tsunami of love” over their torn hearts, as Hensel put it.
Through the various causes and foundations that the families are engaged in, they want as much as anything else to wash their own “wave of love” right back over all of the caring people, Marquez-Greene said.
They added that they remain proud of Newtown and care deeply about their community.
But first, they said, they want people to understand their position as parents of murdered children.
“The world had this perception that the families were ‘all set,’ ” said Marquez-Greene, signaling quote marks in the air.
“Well, A – there’s no such thing, and B – it’s not true,” she said.
Since Sandy Hook, which one month from today will be two-years-old, there have been 90 school shootings in America — the last Nov. 3 at Delaware State University, wounded one. The count now for the shooting last month at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, is five dead, one injured.
And like the future of climate change action based off those midterms, so maybe the the gun nuts will abide — via National Journal:
The National Rifle Association won big Tuesday with the election of a crop of U.S. senators who share its Second Amendment views.
NRA-backed candidates won in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Dakota.
Now, with a Republican majority in the Senate, the NRA won’t have to fret about gun-control advocates finding a sympathetic ear in Congress and jamming through federal legislation.
The group estimates it spent $35 million on the Senate and legislative shake-ups around the country.
It spent roughly $4 million on ads in Arkansas, Colorado, and North Carolina in September.
It invested more than $2.6 million against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, who even voted against a background check bill the NRA opposed.
Open carry and carry on…