Assignments

O Little Town of Newtown

LA MIRADA - Oh! Little town of Newtown, how still and sad we see thee lie.

Newtown. About 100 miles from the little town where I grew up. That Connecticut bedroom village where local industries long manufactured fire hoses and folding boxes. The town where the game Scrabble began. The bucolic community where pizza places are called Carminuccio’s and elementary schools are called Sandy Hook. The New England hamlet where names of streets describe its pastoral landscape, names like Head of Meadows, Boggs Hill and Deep Brook.

Newtown, the little town where streets became dark a week ago.

Along with countless others around the world, I found incomprehensible the merciless slaughtering of twelve little girls, eight little boys and six caring educators, all women. And at Christmastime? Why, for heaven’s sake? I keep asking this question, hardly alone.

As I ask, I recall a halting line from the Christmas carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem. Tucked in those verses is a phrase recalling the pain inseparable from life: “Yet in the dark streets shineth the everlasting Light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

Darkness and fear mingling with hope and light.

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