Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Today started out like any other day. I woke up, got dressed, woke up Mom, ate a quick breakfast. I was late for school again. Told my mom I loved her. Said "Hi" to the secretary, to the guidance counselor, to a friend. Waited for the bell to ring to go to class.
I had been worried about the five quizzes and tests I had to take today. One in Algebra II, one in Religion, one in Chemistry, one in Government, and the last in Spanish. I thought that would be all I'd have to worry about today.
I wish that was all I had to deal with.
I made it to Algebra, Religion, Chemistry and Chem. Lab. That's when we heard the news.
The superintendent came on the loudspeaker and called for our attention twice. The first time, since she said it was a special announcement, I thought it was for the student of the month. Then I heard the tone of voice she was using and I knew there was something wrong. I had no idea how wrong.
She told us that due to an event that had occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we would be going into lockdown.
When you're a student and you hear that word, you first feel confusion. Then excitement, because something different is happening. Then comes the fear, the anxiety, as the words, "This is not a drill," fully register with your mind. Questions follow.
Why did we need to go into lockdown? What had happened? Was someone hurt? Were we in danger?
My classmates and I glanced around at each other in confusion, not sure of what to do. They started to murmur and snicker, a response that irritated me. Later, my mom told me that teenagers just cope with these things that way because they're immature. Their frontal lobes are underdeveloped or something. I remember thinking something along those lines, but I wanted them to understand how serious this was. "Someone probably has a gun," I said seriously. They quieted, and I could see nervousness reflected in some of their gazes.
We were prompted into lockdown by our teacher, who called us back to grim reality. We hadn't had a lockdown drill before, or if we did, we didn't remember. I could recall lockdown drills from middle school. Those were the drills that were the most fun. You had to glance around at everyone and try your hardest not the laugh. I was very upset to find that the real thing happened to be the same.
We all gathered against a wall out of view of the windows. The blinds were shut. A table was propped up against a door. Students glanced at each other with goofy grins on their faces. I think they were concealing nervousness.
I kneeled on the floor, hoping not to take up space, while we quieted for about thirty seconds. Our teacher pushed herself up on a moveable bookshelf. Then they started murmuring about tests and what was happening, and how they hoped the lockdown didn't extend past lunch. Part of me was disgusted that they were concerned about food when people could be dying. I told them we'd probably be there for a few hours.
We were in the Chemistry room for around two.
After only five minutes or so, I took out the iPad we were required to purchase for school and I searched "sandy hook ct."
The first result confirmed my fears, confirmed everything I wanted to deny. I stared at it for a second, numbly, with my eyes wide. "No," I whispered. My classmates looked over my shoulder and read it quickly, lips parted as they drank in the deadly, poisonous news.
I couldn't believe it. Not here, not in Connecticut. Nothing like this ever happens in Connecticut.
I had been forced to realize that these things can happen everywhere and anywhere during the past three months, during which a friend of mine was shot and killed, another friend almost choke to death right in front of me, and a woman who taught me violin when I was third and fourth grade was killed in her home. This tragedy, however, eclipsed all three of those events.
I began to pray, begging Jesus to save them, to help all of us.
No matter how much we prayed, though, and even though many were spared, not all could be. God just had other plans.

"Let the children come to me." Matthew 19:14

Last night, I posted this on Facebook, but then deleted it:
"Even though I'm sure I've said it a lot, I don't think that many people understand how precious life is until you watch someone almost die right in front of you, while all you can do is pray to The Lord to save him. That's when you really see how close you are to death. It's closer than you think. Feel the air in your lungs--for all you know, that could be your last breath. Drink in the flavor of the air, savor its sensation within your chest, that feeling of fullness. Notice the little things--it's not until you might never again experience them that you pay close attention."
Do you see how close we are? Do you really see? This was the second deadliest school shooting in this nations history. When are we going to really realize that we only have a limited amount of time here in this world? When are we going to realize that we need to stop this violence?
Throughout those hours in school, sitting on the floor and searching Google for new news, we all had varying feelings of fear. Grief. Horror. When new information came in, I'd share it. When someone stumbled upon something new on Twitter from their smart phones or got a text, they'd mumble about it for a moment before moving onto something that was less depressing. Things before declared illegal to have at school were now vital assets, provided no outgoing messages were sent. Even the teachers asked for updates. I just sat on the floor and drew in my sketchbook while refreshing the page on Google. The superintendent would come on every few minutes and say, "We're still safe, please say a prayer." You could hear the emotion in her voice, how shaken up she and all the staff was. Sheltered in the school, we knew it was bad, but we hadn't fully experienced it yet.
I kept thinking about Columbine High School and Rachel's Challenge, an anti-bullying program created in the name of Rachel Joy Scott--the first victim in the Columbine High School shooting. Here we were, going through a very similar experience. I can only imagine what being in a school with a gunman is like. Feel the horror, the terror. Smell the blood, taste the fear. I don't want to imagine that.
After we were released from lockdown, we went to lunch and class and tried to salvage the rest of the day. We were forbidden from looking up any information about the shooting on our iPads. No streaming live video. Quizzes and tests were postponed. The event was described as traumatic by my Spanish teacher, and she gave us the class period to either do the homework she gave us or talk with our friends.
Announcements were made, mass was scheduled for Monday, and seven specific people were called down to the office by the superintendent. Usually it's the secretary that does that, and from the grim tone of voice she used, I can't help but think the worst. Was she telling students that their loved ones were dead? The thought filled me with fear, such paralyzing, agonizing fear. It wasn't quite the same as the terror I felt when my friend almost died in front of me, but it was fear. What if it were my sister who was at that school? What if it were my family member that was shot and killed?
What if I had to tell a child that their sibling was dead?
How do you do that?
I tried to comfort a friend who was worried about her cousin, a student at Sandy Hook. Her mother called and told her that the girl was fine, but I promised to be there for my friend. It was similar for another friend of mine, who was beginning to wonder what she would have done if it was her sister at that school. I reached over and held her hand, and we talked through Spanish.
In English, I ran into a friend who had been upset earlier in the day. As soon as she walked into the room, I wrapped my arms around her. I looked her in the eye and asked if she was okay. She nodded and gave a grim smile. "I'd say that it will be okay, but...." I trailed off, only voicing the end of that sentence in my head. ....but it won't be.
It won't ever be. Even time can never completely heal these wounds. Scars will form as the wounds are stitched closed by flimsy threads, often tearing and fraying as white hot grief seeps out. As time goes on, those thin threads will be replaced with something stronger, but even that has the potential to rip, to tear, to let loose sorrow.

Only the power of God can reassemble these broken hearts.

We were dismissed in a different way than usual. First the kids who take the bus were allowed out of the classrooms. They were urged to pack up quickly and were on their way before the rest of us were let out. As my friend left for his locker, he reached for my hand, and our hands closed around each other for a brief couple of seconds as he continued on his way. The rest of us went to our lockers and packed up, then waited in the cafeteria for our families to pick us up. To take us home.
Is home the only safe place now?
I was surprised to find my dad waiting for me outside, leaning on the hood of the car. He had a grim, tense look on his face. I walked up to him and he pulled me close, wrapping his arms around me just as I knew he would. I had a feeling he would have liked to never let go.
We got in the car and drove past the policeman that was directing traffic. The news reports on the radio filled the gaps in our conversation about how we each found out--he had been listening to the scanner when the town siren went off. Any available state police had been asked to report to Newtown to help with the tragedy.
I asked if it was like nine eleven. He didn't answer.
When we arrived home, the news was on the television.
Twenty confirmed children were killed.
Six faculty.
The shooter shot his own mother.
The shooter was carrying a false ID.
The shooter took his own life.
To that, my father shouted horrible names at the television screen. I just hugged a pillow tighter and stared at the screen with my lips parted in horror.
My sister came home from school and shared her experience. She hadn't been allowed to get lunch because the school was in lockdown, just like most of the other districts in the area.
And then President Obama came on. I hadn't yet cried that day for the shock of it, or maybe there was another reason. I'm not sure. I just hadn't cried.
When he started to shed his own tears and became too choked up to speak, tears ran down my cheeks. By the end of his speech, I had cried and cried. It's just too sad.
My mom came and picked my sister and I up from my father's house and she took us to hers. There we discussed what happened, shared our horror. Expressed our sadness.
I looked out the window in my room as I went to sit down to write this.
To the human eye, and organ that makes sense of light and converts it to images, this sunset was just like any other sunset. It wasn't red, it wasn't golden. It wasn't remarkable in any way.
To the human brain, this was the end of a day, the beginning of a weekend.
However, to the human heart, this sunset marked the end of twenty eight stories.
The end of countless dreams parents had for their children.
The end of the lives of six brave, brave faculty members who will forever be remembered as heroes.
The end of the lives of twenty children, children who will never again be held in the arms of their loving parents.
Instead, they will be forever cradled in the arms of Jesus. He's holding each and every one of them, and He will protect them from now on.
If there is anyone who understands, it's God.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."-- John 3:16
What I and my classmates went through on the fateful day of December 14, 2012.
I have no words to offer that can possibly ease the pain of all those suffering from this tragedy. There simply are no words that can heal these gaping wounds, wounds that seep out sadness, horror, and disbelief.
This was one of the darkest, if not THE darkest day in American history. There was only one school shooting that exceeded this, Virginia Tech. All school shootings, and shootings in general, are so tragic...
These were all children. Not even children-- babies! Tiny babies, all of whom had hidden beneath a veil of innocence until 9:40 on Friday morning. After that, children wrote love letters to their parents, trying to assure them that they loved them and would be waiting for them in heaven.
No child should have to go through this. Every child who lived in this school, every baby now terrified of school, has had their veil ripped to shreds and burned. Nothing will ever be the same for them. We have their names, their pictures, even some of their last words. How can we even begin to heal?

In loving memory of:
Charlotte Bacon (6 years old)
Daniel Barden (7 years old)
Rachel Divino (29 years old)
Olivia Engel (6 years old)
Josephine Gay (7 years old)
Ana M. Marquez-Greene (6 years old)
Dylan Hockley (6 years old)
Dawn Hocksprung (47 years old)
Madeleine F. Hsu (6 years old)
Catherine V. Hubbard (6 years old)
Chase Kowalski (7 years old)
Jesse Lewis (6 years old)
James Mattioli (6 years old)
Grace McDonnell (7 years old)
Anne Marie Murphy (52 years old)
Emilie Parker (6 years old)
Jack Pinto (6 years old)
Noah Pozner (6 years old)
Caroline Previdi (6 years old)
Jessica Rekos (6 years old)
Avielle Richman (6 years old)
Lauren Reasseau (30 years old)
Mary Sherlach (56 years old)
Victoria Soto (27 years old)
Benjamin Wheeler (6 years old)
Allison N. Wyatt (6 years old)
Add a Comment:
Guy01 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2016
Jesus. Huggle! Hug
My heart goes out to their families and you.
Depreciated Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I remember things like this from when I was in school. While I don't think any life is more important than the other ones, children just barely starting out seems so much worse when you think about it. Huddled up in their kindergarten classrooms expecting a day of fun activities, naps and finger painting-only to have it end in tragedy. The fear they had to be feeling. Not completely understanding the situation and why their teachers were so panicked. Watching the bullets fly and hit their friends and classmates.

This is the kind of thing that should never have happened. Ever. And while I feel the bastard got what was coming; I can't help but wonder the obvious question.. Why?
Orpeusftw Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
I was in my school gym helping my friends Chris and Alec set up tables for some assembly then my principal and social studies teacher came screaming for us to get into the classrooms we didn't understand when got into the classroom we told
Our teacher that r principal is freaking out about a second later our principal came up on the loudspeaker crying our code word for emergencies is "mr lock is in the building" so we scrambled in to the closet we were in there for about 2 hours since newtown was only two miles away from our school when lockdown was over we returned to our normal classes we ask what had happened and all they said was " you'll hear it on the news tonight " so I thought it wasn't such a big deal I got pick up at one by my sister she was crying she said that 30 people died in newtown there was a shooting (she was estimating) I was shocked Connecticut was never a popular state it was a quiet and peaceful one especially the town of newtown what scares me the most is for my softball games I always played right behind sandy hook almost all of my games were at the field right behind it I cried so hard when I founded out and to be living 15 min away is just unbearable
Breezyfeather Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I'm so sorry for what you're going through.... :( It's just.... There really are no words... The bells tolling this morning? Oh my gosh, I was in the car going back to school after a doctor's appointment at 9. Then the bells came on on the radio, then a recording of Obama saying each of their names came on, and then they played a sad song and oh my gosh, the TEARS :( It's just so sad.... I'm so sorry...
Kanadesonya Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I wonder how the shooter feels now in hell,I Wonder if he's getting a taste of his own sins,how revolting such a person exist upon this planet then again there are people placed on this place for a reason only god knows why,what the hell is going through this gunman's mind,did he just think one day "Oh im going to go shoot 27 people today haha its gonna be fun" if even such a thought came through his head,why little kids,why them they never did anything to him.That SOB makes me so frustrated,i dont care what reason before he even leave the house he shuld just shoot himself,although as much as i can say or hate nothing can change what is done,and saying hateful things to the gunman isnt going to change anything,but we can all pray and contribute to those who lost their lives R.I.P
DesperateAshes Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey there, I'm inviting you to join this project that I've started called the Sandy Hook Card Project. I'm gathering people to make cards of well wishes that will be sent to the school. If you're interested, you can check out my journal here: [link]. It has more details.
You don't have to do it if you don't want to, but could you help me spread the word about the project? It would be a great help, thanks!
Stitchpunk89 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This was 10 times worst then the Colorado high school shooting.
DevanTheNoob Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I live in Colorado. Not to far from where that happened, years back. And I don't care if I sound rude in saying so, but saying any deaths are worse than others is a horrible thing. Although only 12 students died (Not to mention the 21 students and teachers that got injured) at Columbine whereas 27 people died at Sandy Hook, it hurts me to see someone say that like it wasn't a big deal. I am greatly saddened by the Sandy Hook shooting, and I pray for all those children and adults and their families this year. But I just wanted to say to you that your comment hurt me and I don't think it was right of you to say that. I hope you don't hate me for saying this, but that is how I feel. If you want to educate yourself a little more on what happened, you can read more about it here so maybe you think before you say things like that in the future. [link]
Stitchpunk89 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
What're you saying? A comment like that isn't meant to hurt you! :(
DevanTheNoob Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm sorry, the only reason I responded that way is because you said that the Sandy Hook Shooting is worse than the Columbine Shooting when I just believe they are both equal in importance and one isn't more wrong than the other. I just see it as that, in both cases, there were sick beings shooting innocent people with guns. No matter how many people died it just isn't right, you know? That's why I just feel like neither incident is "worse" than the other. Do you know what I mean? :(
Stitchpunk89 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It was because it involved the unreasonable murder of those innocent kids and I think its worse because I love kids. I'm not really much of a sensitive person to some things but when it comes to kids or pets, then it hits me! It hits me like lightning that I just wanna give that bastard/bitch a piece of my mind and kick their asses for it.
DevanTheNoob Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I completely understand. All I wanted to say was that the high schoolers were innocent, too. And yes.. The death of kids.. Especially around Christmas.. Makes me so sad :(
kendallov34 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
on friday i thought i was a best school day cuse of friday but when i got home i head the news 26 people died in sandy hook
CinderHeartFan Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012
I didn't understand the full extent of it that day after it happened... then It struck me today and I couldn't stop mourning for those lost lives. I'm upset that that man went into that school and did that. But... Those people are in a better place.
Ogrefairy Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lovely work. Thank you so much for submitting to the #SupportSandyHook project. =)
llirbwerdnadivad Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012
klcrowley61 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Wow baby.

There are a few days in my life I can remember with such detail. The bad ones: January 26, 1986, when the Challenger fell out of the sky and 9/11/2011. The good ones: April 17, 1993-when I married your Dad, November 29, 1997 and February 26, 2000, when you and your sister were born. The good, used to outweigh the bad. Now it seems to be even. You, your sister & your classmates are way too young to have experienced such profound tragedies. We had fire drills when I was in school. We didn't have lock downs. I can't believe IHS had a Rachel's Challenge program presentation this Fall. Columbine seemed like it happened so long ago. I certainly never thought a mass shooting would occur in a school 20 minutes from our home. I couldn't believe the Hospital I worked for went into a Lock Down too. Watching the POTUS address the nation from an auditorium I have sat in is just bizarre. I never thought I'd hear someone say/sing Kaddish. I don't understand Hebrew, but I could feel what the Rabbi was saying. It was so beautiful, and so sad. I so wish it hadn't needed to be said.

thanks for sharing your experience

Sk1ttl3z95 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Student General Artist
I started doing something for this, and then I closed the tab by accident and I lost it, and it took me forever :(
Breezyfeather Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
That stinks....
Sk1ttl3z95 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Student General Artist
mhmm it was a pretty candle. >.<
Add a Comment:

:iconbreezyfeather: More from Breezyfeather

Featured in Collections

Literature by AeliaNaqwiDesigns

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
December 15, 2012
File Size
12.0 KB


25 (who?)