Love Wins: One Year Since Sandy Hook

EDITOR'S NOTE: It was one year ago that 20-year-old Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School, guns blazing. 27 people died that day. The town of Newtown asked that no media be present in town on the day of the anniversary, to let the townspeople grieve as they saw fit. We made the editorial decision not to publish this on the anniversary for that very reason.

 

I still remember December 14, 2012 like it was yesterday.

The call came in at 9 a.m. and I thought nothing of it because I get news alerts every day.

Besides, it was yellow, meaning probably not a big deal. So I went about my morning.

But the alerts kept coming in. By 9:45, the bar was red.

I was halfway to work - STN Channel 2 - and I started running.

People from all sorts of places of the University were flocking to us. “Did you hear? Do you know anything?”

Anyone who came in was sent to me. As News Director, it was my job, after all.

I told them the same things everyone else had been saying.

Someone was shooting. Lots of people were dead. We didn’t know who or why.

Every screen in the room was watching a different feed. CNN on the TV, muted. NBC playing on one computer screen, CBS on another. ABC on my laptop, FOX in an edit suite. Nobody knew any more than we did.

He was misidentified, no one knew where he had come from...no one really knew anything.

I had never reported anything like this, but I knew this wouldn’t be the last time.

We packed into the studio, having thrown out a lot of our show to report on it.

I read the story off the prompter, trying to stay professional and calm, even though I wanted to cry.

By the end of the night, they were releasing the names of the 27 dead. They were releasing the pictures of the terrified children being led out of the school, holding hands. The one little girl who had lost her entire class. The mother on her knees in tears on the pavement when she learned her child was among the dead.

One of those children was Ana Grace Marquez-Greene - daughter of two UHa alumni. They started a charity called "The Ana Grace Project" and a campaign called "Love Wins", encouraging us to be kind to one another, simple as that.

In the spirit of 'love wins', do something nice for a stranger, a friend, a professor, or a classmate. Be present always. Love yourself and others.

Love wins.