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Newtown on My Mind

Ned Hardy

Last summer, after a long day at soccer recruitment camp, I returned to the hotel my mom and I were staying at. Meeting up with my mom in the lobby, I noticed a small crowd in front of the TV by the bar. A massacre at a movie theatre in Aurora, Col. had left over a dozen dead and over 50 injured. Despite my horror, I felt safe and distanced from this tragedy; such terror would never surface near my home.

I was wrong…. So, so wrong.

This weekend, many of us discovered the horrifying truth of what happened on Friday in Newtown, Conn. This was a historical tragedy, and the fact that it happened in our own backyard was a personal and unfathomable nightmare; 27 people were murdered a half hour drive from my own school.

Since early childhood my friends, teachers, and I have enjoyed connections with Newton residents. At Treadwell Park, barely a mile from the school, my Everton soccer club team played against Newtown’s club team, Newtown Samba TTP, just last spring. And only a few months ago, our varsity scrimmage against my friend Brian and his Newtown varsity squad ended in a draw. My Latin teacher, Magistra Huettner, taught at Newtown High School for a number of years. Through all these interactions, I really felt this horrible incident involved me somehow.

It was just too close to home.

When the story broke, Staples erupted into chaos. Rumors darted through the school, and no one knew what to believe. Many teachers and students had friends in Newtown, and they prayed to God that their friends would make it through.

No one knows why these disturbed human beings commit such unthinkable crimes, nor how they are driven to such unimaginable evil, but everyone assumes that their own safety is assured by their distance from these catastrophes. That is, until they find themselves in one of these situations.

Experiencing one of these disasters firsthand and personally knowing those who were directly affected reveals so much more about one’s character than a disaster hundreds of miles away.

This weekend I cried several times, each time alone at my house. I couldn’t do anything all day except think about Sandy Hook, and even in the company of friends I had Newtown on my mind. It was easier to express emotion about it to myself, because I felt most comfortable grieving in solitude.

I’m not sure why.

This was how my character was revealed after Friday’s events. I don’t doubt that many others shared similar periods of pain in the wake of what happened.

I don’t usually cry, nor do I spend hours thinking and reading about any single thing, but this was different.

I still am consumed by last week’s tragedy, though the feelings have slowly diminished, and will continue to over time.

But I will never, ever forget.

There is no real path to forgetting, nor is there a simple healing process, and no one expects there to be. We are very close to Newtown, which makes it that much more frightening. At the same time, though, we are that much more capable of lending a hand to our fallen neighbors, for they are too close to home to just simply overlook.

I believe it is our duty to do that in any way possible.


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About the Contributors
Joe Greenwald
Joe Greenwald, Web Sports Editor
As a soccer player, dog-lover, gamer, volunteer, Latin Club president, and self-proclaimed jokester, Joe Greenwald ’13 is a jack-of-all-trades. And he can now add Web Sports Editor of Inklings to his repertoire. It was pure chance that Greenwald ended up in Inklings at all; a scheduling mishap threw him into the Journalism for Publication class last year. It was in that class, however, where he found his love for writing, and writing for an audience in particular. Greenwald is also a starting striker and co-captain of the boys’ soccer team, and carries his love of soccer to the virtual world in FIFA Soccer for Xbox. He has several intense rivalries with other Staples students, and his preferred team of usage is Spain’s Atletico Madrid. Outside of school and sports, Greenwald volunteers at the George Washington Carver Center in Norwalk, helping under-privileged kids with their schoolwork and acting as a mentor. “It is an incredibly humbling feeling,” Greenwald said of his experience at the Carver Center. “It’s moving to be able to help them; in a sense they’re giving back to me.” As well as his love for volunteering, Greenwald also has a love for none other than mashed potatoes. “I like a little gravy with my mashed potatoes,” he said. “Not a lot of gravy. But a little.”
Ned Hardy
Ned Hardy, Editor-In-Chief
Ned Hardy is a man of many passions. His latest endeavor? Bringing his expertise and vision to Inklings as Editor in Chief. Hardy joined the Inklings staff his junior year after being impressed by the awesome issues being put out. Having started out as Web A&E Editor, Hardy has the knowledge and experience to help take both the paper and the web to greater heights. He enjoys writing in- depth investigative news pieces. Although he never sets out to stir up controversy, Hardy likes taking difficult, thought provoking subject to write his articles about. But Hardy is more than just the typical investigative reporter; he is also a music enthusiast and enjoys writing album reviews that reflect his interest. Hardy says he is a big fan of rap music, especially Kanye West. When he isn’t writing for Inklings or jamming out to Kanye, Hardy, a self proclaimed foodie, might be found cookie up something delicious. Hardy’s varied passions foster an appreciation for each writer as an individual. As Editor in Chief, Hardy hopes to influence the paper by personally interacting with everyone on the staff. “This could easily become a situation where only the loudest voices are heard’, Hardy Said.  “I want everyone to have a chance to write the article they want to write or to take the picture they want to take.”

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