It might have seemed as if our nation hit rock bottom when 20 children (and six adults) were gunned down in the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Conn. How could a madman commit such an atrocity against schoolchildren!
Even now, with a few weeks of distance between that horrendous event, it still doesn't make a bit of sense. I don't care about the discussions about guns, mental illness, violent movies and video games. Nothing about the massacre makes any sense to me. Let the sociologists and social workers try to make sense of it all, for now.
What also makes sense is our inescapable, indescribable American spirit. We are an indomitable people. We are bloodied but never broken. We remain a strong, courageous people of battlers. It takes a lot to get us down.
It was heartwarming and stirring to see so many people — strangers, really, to Newtown — rally around the townspeople, the community, and the American way of life. We recovered after 9/11, you'll remember well.
We all felt horribly helpless in the wake of the shootings. It mattered little that the gunman eventually completed his murderous spree by claiming his own life. The damage had grotesquely been done. Nothing that he could have subsequently done or sad, in a burst of unexpected lucidity, would have made a difference. He wasn't going to be able to bring back the victims.
He'll go on to be a footnote in some history of the insane.
The rest of us? We will always grieve for the memory of those innocent little children who were killed on that terrible day. Of course, we'll never quite get over it. But we will somehow persevere as a nation, and go on.
After all, it's the American way. We are not broken. That's the reason why we can count our blessings, even after such an unspeakable tragedy. We are Americans.
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