Published as Op Ed & Lead Opinion Article: "OPINION: Don’t Erase Pain of Sandy Hook Lest You Forget; Look to Paris for Guidance”, The Litchfield County Times, The Housatonic Times, The Connecticut Bulletin, Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The choices facing Newtown’s task force deciding the fate of the Sandy Hook Elementary School were daunting. They chose the one with a financial costs to the town of $57 million for a tear down and new school on the present site. That plan was approved last Friday and now awaits approval by the School Board and a town referendum, a hard choice in these austere times.
There was the choice of a tear down and a new building on a new site, requiring condemnation, eminent domain and dislocation of existing homes and businesses. All of the choices had attendant emotional issues with no easy solutions. Do you want closure or do you want to never forget? It’s damned if you do and damned if don’t propositions that face Newtown voters.
The cheapest alternative but emotionally least emotionally attractive was to repair the school, suck in your gut, and just keep on trucking, living with the memory and the pain. As insensitive as it may sound I hope the community votes for the least attractive and cheapest alternative, repair the old school building. Keep on trucking, keep on remembering.
I do not live or vote in Newtown so my comments count little. I was born in a country [ex-Yugoslavia] at a time when many children died in World War II. After that war, that country made a conscious effort to forgive and forget only to have history repeat itself some 50 years later in Srebrenica, Bosnia. I voice my comments from that vantage point alone.