The illustrations in this blog post are by Jen Hill for BuzzFeed News. They were featured in a story published today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sandy Hook and the subsequent school shootings since that day, December 14, 2012.
More than 100 children.
Published by BuzzFeed News, and written by: Melissa Segura, Julia Reinstein, and Steffi Cao. The illustrations in this post by Jen Hill were woven throughout the article. I put them together because they are a haunting reminder of what school safety is supposed to be, once was maybe, but is no longer. Imagine what would happen if every person in this country did everything in their collective power to keep our children safe from harm, at school and at home. It would transform their futures and our present. Isn’t that what we all want, to not only survive but thrive and flourish?1
I cannot get these illustrations out of my mind, as well as the stories shared in the accompanying article. We cannot save those precious lives that were killed ten years ago and all of the years before and up until the present, but we can begin with today. That is, after all, all we have, to make a difference today and tomorrow and over the next ten years. So that in the year 2032, we will be having a much different kind of memorial, but remembering them nonetheless.
As my father always told me after his entire family was murdered by a neighbor, life goes on, it must. Live a life that makes the ones who died proud of you. I had a complicated relationship with my father, he was a hurt man, who overcame an insurmountable loss to build a life his family would have been proud of. So I continue that legacy, strive to do good work in their honor, and in their memory, and do everything in my power to change the paradigm of gun violence in this country. I am not alone in this work, and for that, I am eternally grateful.