I live about 20 minutes from Sandy Hook CT.  My wife and I have a family friend who attends Sandy Hook Elementary.  He is OK.  It is safe to say that our entire state is in horrified shock and deep, deep grief.  Malls are busy yet quiet.  People are driving slower and there seems to be a lot more courtesy.  Parents are holding and watching their children more.  Strangers share tears after only a few common words.

As a father I want to do something, anything I can to help and protect not just my two children, but any children.  And in times like this when the shock wears off that helpless void cannot be filled but with grief and sorrow and the love of family, and friends.  

Even closer to our home is Victoria Soto the 27 year old teacher who was killed protecting her classroom full of children.  She was from my hometown of Stratford, CT.  So close in fact now my wife Kristen and I have had to talk about this horrific act with our 7 and 9 year old perhaps changing their view of the world and safety forever.  We would rather have shielded them from this tragedy if it were possible.  I am certain the approaching holidays will be different for all of us.  It will be a closer, tighter, slower, holding and hugging time.  And we can find peace in that.  I hope for healing, someday, for those 26 families.

At RecruitingBlogs our deepest and heart felt condolences go out to every family in Sandy Hook and Newtown CT.  I know thousand of our readers are from all parts of the world...know that your thoughts and prayers are heard here. We wish you all a warm holiday and happy new year.   

A common sentiment right now in Connecticut is:  Grab your kids and hold them, tell them you love them, play with them and laugh with them, it is truly the greatest thing in the world.

Tiny Angels

Tiny Angels rest your wings
sit with me for awhile.
How I long to hold your hand,
And see your tender smile.
Tiny Angel, look at me,
I want this image clear....
That I will forget your precious face
Is my biggest fear.
Tiny Angel can you tell me,
Why you have gone away?
You weren't here for very long....
Why is it, you couldn't stay?
Tiny Angel shook his head,
"These things I do not know....
But I do know that you love me,
And that I love you so".

Author Unknown

Views: 994

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on December 16, 2012 at 1:25pm

Thank you for sharing Noel I'm sure it can't be easy... my youngest two are also 7 and 9 and we're struggling with what we should share and how to best talk about it (if at all). All I could think about is the mornings I drop them off at school when I'm mad - we've had a rough start, lost backpacks, forgotten lunches... in my hurry to get to work I practically throw them out of the car snapping at them for being irresponsible. Never again.


Prayers for the families and friends suffering this unimaginable loss.

Comment by Will Thomson on December 17, 2012 at 10:13am

Noel,  that was a tough read.  Well written, but very sad.  It was a sad day in American History Friday.  My heart and prayers go out to everyone involved.  Being a father of 2, it is unimagineable and very surreal.  Thank you for this post.  Living in Conneticut, I can only imagine the atmosphere.  We all do need to grab our kids and tell them we love them every minute.

Comment by Noel Cocca on December 17, 2012 at 9:46pm

Thanks Amy, Will, and John for your comments.  We had our Recruitingblogs meeting tonight and it was obvious that this has effected Tim, Ryan, and I...all fathers also.  It was hard dropping off Jack and Hailey this morning...but life did go on the way it always does....

Comment by Valentino Martinez on December 18, 2012 at 12:48am

We live 1,104 miles from Sandyhook, CT and lament the tragic loss of life, particularly life so very young.  Our daughter and son are in their 20s now yet I can clearly recall the many days I would drop them off and pick them up from school when they were youngsters.   From kindergarten, secondary and high school – I enjoyed transporting them and even playing hooky from time to time to go to the zoo or enjoy a buffet breakfast.  I enjoyed it because we had drive-time together spent discussing their day at school, homework or whatever was on their minds.

It is the ultimate tragedy to now have to reminisce about school days before the arrival of metal detectors or significant security controls to protect students, teachers and administrators.  For crying out loud are our teachers now required to take combat training to be prepared to put their life on the line as part of their duties that now must include protecting their students from clear and present dangers.  Surely combat pay is now in order. 

When I joined the Army during the Vietnam War and received Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) and later worked in the Department of Corrections and received their version of combat training -- I knew my job description mentioned the very real potential for exposure to situations that could result in bodily harm and even death. Now, more than ever before, students (young and older), teachers, administrators, politicians, movie goers and innocent bystanders should expect similar exposures.  Will there be more training for them?  Is this is the bane of the 21st Century -- to be exposed to very bad weather and very bad people? 

Is our country now becoming no country for old men, women, youngsters and everyone in between?  The newest reality show says it all…it’s called “Doomsday Preppers”…which will highlight extreme survival…”  Ready or not…here it comes.  And maybe this latest tragedy is the last straw that brings a strong enough reaction to stem the tide...for our own collective good.

Comment by Mike Rasmussen on December 18, 2012 at 2:19pm

I too have been hit by this tragedy to a certain extant as one of my candidates was directly affected - I will not for privacy purposes mention whom but it does hit us even from many miles away.


Comment by Marcia Tiemeyer on December 19, 2012 at 12:57pm

Valentino and I live in the same area, many miles away from the tragedy.  I'm a Mother of 5 and a Grandmother of 19 (I'm not really as old as I sound), and I'm still reeling from this.  I'm finding it hard to go about my day without thinking of what those people are going through.  I happen to have a Granddaughter that is in Kindergarten.  I called her the night of the shooting to just say hi, I love you.  I'm incredibly emotional and feel very raw and sensitive to all the information I hear.  I fight with not wanting to hear any more, but drawn to the images of these Children.  I also feel so helpless and frustrated.  I am praying for them all, but I feel the need to do something and I don't know what I can do.   I have made a decision to be kinder to everyone.  I'm really trying to smile and notice people,  to say hello and thank you with eye contact.  I doubt that it will make much difference, but my heart knows why I'm making this effort and maybe it will help me heal.  None of us can even start to fathom why this has happened, but I do know that it has touched people from around the world in all corners.  Perhaps it will help with greater acceptance and understanding world wide.  It would be a good thing from a terrible tragedy, but a sacrifice that was almost too much to give. 


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