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The Letter the President Should Have Written to Sandy Hook Mom Nicole Hockley

March 22, 2018 in Blogs

By Katherine Fugate, AlterNet

A real president would talk to parents of slain children, not run from them.

Dear Ms. Nicole Hockley,

I have read your open letter to me dated November 15, 2017, regarding gun violence. I wanted to respond sooner, and I tried to do so on December 14, the five-year anniversary of the death of your son, Dylan, at Sandy Hook Elementary, but found myself at a loss for words. So perhaps it is fitting that I write to you now, while you and your family are here in Washington, D.C., for “March for Our Lives,” in support of the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Please let me first offer my deepest sympathies for your loss. President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said: “There is no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.” I agree with that sentiment. Life’s natural order is for children to bury their parents. Only in times of war should a mother ever bury her child first. Dylan was in first grade. He was not a soldier. But he was a casualty in a war on our own soil.

As a parent myself, one of the most painful realizations I’ve had is that I will not be alive to witness all of my child’s life. I will not know how “it all turned out.” As a parent, you will witness your child’s birth, nurse their skinned knees, cheer them on at their college graduations, walk them down the aisle at their wedding and spoil your grandchildren until that final day when we, as parents, take our last breath and let them go on to live their lives without us. I often reflect on the pain of that final day—not in my own death, but in knowing I will never know how my child’s story ends.

Dylan’s story did not end naturally. The pages of his life were torn out by a mass shooter. I know you still have your son Jake with you and that must be some …read more


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