One of the hardest assignments I have ever had to cover was the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I contributed from the scene to the hard news reports but also looked for the stories that gave a grieving community – and nation – a bit of hope amid this incredible tragedy.
“NEWTOWN, Conn. — It’s not a conversation parents expect they’ll have with their kids: But Shari and Andrew Paley were doing just that, talking with their identical twins, Ben and Ethan, about the shooting at their school that left 20 of their fellow students dead. Ben and Ethan, a pair of articulate and observant nine years olds, had many questions and much commentary for their parents about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where they are in the fourth grade. “We know lots of things that we shouldn’t know,” Ethan said Saturday while talking with a reporter and munching on a green-frosted, white-sprinkled, crème donut. His mother said earlier he had noted that he has lived through a tornado, two hurricanes and now this. “Remember what we talked about last night, that sometimes when something really bad happens you learn to appreciate what you have,” she told the boys. “You don’t take any(thing) for granted.” (Read more: ‘We know lots of things that we shouldn’t know’: Kids, parents talk shooting)
After school shooting, quiet Newtown wonders, ‘How can we be protected from people like this?’
Bulldog and owner hope to heal Newtown one hug at a time
Playing and praying through the pain: Newtown grieves together
Funerals begin for victims of Sandy Hook shooting
‘You feel helpless’: First responders rushed to school after shooting, only to wait