After the shootings in Newtown, CT yesterday, I - like many parents across the country - wanted to race to my children's side, giving them hugs and comfort. When I got home they were happily eating their dinner and getting ready for movie night. They didn't know what had happened earlier in the day and Kerry and I decided not raise it, though I know they will eventually ask questions and we'll do our level best to answer.
The lives of 20 little children - and their bright futures - were taken in an instant as was the innocence of childhood for those other children who witnessed the horror. And those adults - the shooter's mother, principal, guidance counselor and other school faculty - leave behind loved ones who, like the parents of those children who were killed, will forever ask the question, "why?"It's a question we really can't answer now - and may never be able to answer.
One thing is for certain though. Our country is - and will continue to - grieve with the Newtown community, remembering the victims and offer prayers of comfort and solace to those who've been impacted by this tragedy.
Like the the City of Fairfax, Newtown is a small town with about the same population as ours. Everyone knows just about everyone and it's a community that shares in their times of joy and come together in times of sorrow. Right now, their community has gotten a little bigger as millions of Americans - and people around the world - extend a hand through their thoughts and prayers.
Over the last several weeks I have had a good number of friends experience their own personal tragedies. Between their losses and now this act of evil, it's become clearer and clearer to me that we need to realize the fragility of life. It is a precious gift that is often taken for granted.
If there is any good that can come out of this, it will be that we all recognize this and how we should treasure those moments with our children, family and friends. It's what matters most because you don't know when you will have those moments again, so you treat each one like it could be the last.
Hold your kids, loved ones and friends closer, give them a hug and always remind them you love them.