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American Dispatch: Covering an Unspeakable Tragedy
By FOX News Radio’s Jeff Monosso in Newtown, Connecticut
White Christmas lights and red ribbons line the streets here. A bright Christmas tree with red, green and blue lights shines in the city center. You can hear the trickle of the babbling brook that winds its way through this quaint and quiet New England town. That postcard image of Newtown, Connecticut is gone. It has been replaced with makeshift memorials, the sounds of sirens, funeral processions and weeping mourners bringing teddy bears, flowers, and notes.
I’ve covered tragedies around the world, but never one where even journalists are crying. The loss of 20 innocent little souls along with their brave principal and teachers is impossible to comprehend. Devastation, sadness and confusion are not strong enough words to describe what’s happened in this little town.
America’s hearts hurt. My heart hurts. As a father, I can feel the gut wrenching pain these families are going through. Not being able to protect your child when evil arrives and then being told you’ll never tuck your sweet little boy or little girl into bed, ever again. As a journalist, I have a job to do and a story to tell. When the names of the victims were released along with their pictures, I took a deep breath and started to look.
The first picture that I saw was of six-year-old Noah Pozner. I became overwhelmed. I had to walk away. The first grader described as happy, sweet and rambunctious was the first of the shooting victims to be laid to rest. Noah’s twin sister, who survived the massacre, will go on without her best friend.
I was at dinner the other night with a colleague, when we heard a child next to us screaming. We both recognized that prior to the shooting, the child would have been annoying, but this time, the sound was beautiful.
Investigators continue their quest for answers, but the truth is we’ll never know how or why anyone could walk into an elementary school and commit the unthinkable. I think of the fear in those precious little eyes. I think of the innocence lost. I think of the survivors who’ll be haunted for the rest of their lives.
The shooter’s home and Sandy Hook Elementary have been seized as investigators continue their work, which could take months. I doubt the school will ever open its doors again. We’ve seen dozens of moving trucks taking desks and chairs from the elementary school to a new location in a neighboring town, where the K-through-4th grade survivors will continue their education.
Other schools in the area have reopened, with police guarding them. The community is trying to get back some sense of normalcy, but after this, what is normal anymore?
My heart goes out to all the victims and their families of this, and other senseless tragedies.
LISTEN to FOX News Radio’s Jeff Monosso reporting from Newtown, Connecticut: