All we know is the shootings leave behind lots of grieving families, neighbors and friends. They rip deeply into the heart and soul of humanity and a nation which prides itself on decency and good.
Losing loved ones around Christmas and during what has traditionally a joyous holiday season leaves an indelible scar. And those with those scars need our prayers, support and comfort in the years ahead.
Military families who have lost moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons or daughters in war have felt that loss over the years. One comforting tradition started two decades ago. In early December, thousands of volunteers fan out across our country placing Christmas Wreaths on the tombstones of our fallen military men and women.
More than 110,000 wreaths donated by Wreaths Across America were laid at Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 15, 2012. With similar ceremonies across America taking place, the organization now has donated more than 1.2 million wreaths over the last 21 to honor America's war dead.
This year's weath laying was overshaddowed by the shootings at the Clackamas Mall and at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Those who have lost a loved one more deeply understand what the family members who lost their loved one last week are going through. The pain may ease a bit over the years, but the hurt won't stop.
Many search for something they can do to ease the pain. Right now only prayers, kind thoughts and messages, and comforting words can help. In future years, projects like Wreaths Across America may be a way to remember.
Don C. Brunell, President (DonB@awb.org)