I live in Newtown, Conn. Most of you have heard of my town by now. It’s a sweet place, with a $2 movie theater, a two-hour Labor Day parade and an old-fashioned general store. Our 100-foot flagpole stands tall in the middle of Main Street, a symbol of our small-town-America status.
You know also that Newtown is suffering. A man shot and killed 20 of our schoolchildren and six of our educators in a matter of minutes on Dec. 14. Since then, green and white ribbons, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School, adorn our jackets, as we console each other and proclaim that we are Newtown Strong. Our shared grief is so thick you can almost hold it in your hands. As a town we weep unexpectedly and openly, just as our governor, Dannel Malloy, a tough former assistant district attorney from Brooklyn, choked up as he spoke during the opening of Connecticut’s legislative session. As one woman told me, standing by the cucumbers in the grocery store, tears welling in her eyes, “You just never know when it’s gonna hit ya.”