Niagara Gazette

Opinion

December 17, 2012

CITY DESK: A cold, numb feeling

Niagara Gazette — This space was originally reserved for some poignant comments written to me by a reader.

There was a moment or two back there last week when I thought today would be a good day to say a few words in honor of two dear friends who recently celebrated a joyous occasion in their lives.

And then Friday came. 

That afternoon I paused in the office to watch the president — our president — wipe a tear away from his eye as he attempted — for the first time — to discuss the latest in a string of American tragedies involving wayward people and guns. 

“Our hearts are broken today,” President Obama said. 

“The majority of those who died were children — beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old,” he continued. 

That was it.

For me, that was it. 

As is now widely known, 20 of the 26 victims of our nation’s latest shooting spree were elementary students — bright-eyed little ones looking forward to Christmas vacation.

At that moment, as the president spoke, I couldn’t help but think back to the day all those years ago when I walked into the office and saw — for the first time with my own eyes — the images of the World Trade Center attack on 9/11. 

The two events are not on the same level of magnitude, of course. 

But they are equally difficult to take. They leave you feeling cold, numb inside.  

It’s a feeling — that sick, horrible pain — that comes with trying to grapple with so many deaths, so many lives cut short too soon.

And this time, in Newtown, Conn., it involved near two dozen children. 

As others have said, there really are no words capable of capturing the horror and emotion of it all. 

Earlier in the week, by coincidence, I happened to watch a program on PBS about the shooting death of John Lennon.

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