The Times West Virginian


December 21, 2012

For once, can’t unspeakable tragedy bring out our best?

They said today would be the end of the world. Maybe the Earth won’t stop spinning, but it’s the end of the world as we know it.

Why? Because a week ago, a madman killed his mother and then broke into an elementary school and shot and killed six teachers and administrators and 20 children.

Fourteen years ago, the word “Columbine” would make people think of the beautiful flower with vibrant pedals in pinks, purples and yellows. But today, we associate that word with a mass shooting in Colorado blamed on video game violence.

Twelve years ago, the World Trade Center was something we all saw in the backdrop of movies and television shows. But with its collapse because of terrorist actions, new and stricter security measures were created for everything from water systems to airport luggage.

And a week ago, who even knew where Newtown, Conn., was located on a map or how to even pronounce it? Now we all live with the horror that someone could aim an assault rifle at a kindergartener and pull a trigger. And the world that we once knew is gone.

How will it change for the better? Will gun legislation change? Will there be more support for families of mental health patients? Will school safety increase?

We don’t know yet, but we know how this event has changed us.

There is fear. Many parents expressed fear in sending their children to school Monday morning. And many parents just didn’t send them at all.

And there is panic. Facebook posts from students across the state have been monitored and taken seriously. Schools have been locked down because of threats or perceived threats.

With every horrible event that occurs, there are always those who will take advantage of it. Do you remember the repeated bomb threats at schools and businesses following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11? Do you remember the hoaxes following the postal anthrax scare?

Hoaxes such as these are a disgrace to the memory of the 27 innocent lives taken on Friday, not something to laugh about on social media newsfeeds or to make light of between friends.

For once, we wish a tragedy would bring out the best in our youth. For once, we wish instead of giving into the fear and panic or even exploiting the fear and panic, something positive could come of the lives lost and the families broken. Vow to set aside 27 minutes each day to do something kind for someone. Volunteer 27 hours to a mental health facility. Adopt 20 angels from the Salvation Army Tree.

Make 27 paper snowflakes and send them to Connecticut PTSA, which is trying to make it a little easier for the children of Sandy Hook Elementary school to come back on Jan. 13. Snowflakes can be sent to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514.

Anything but creating more fear or more to feel panic about.

Text Only
  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

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