I still remember where I was when I heard about the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut: Driving home from a prenatal appointment, and about to pick up my daughter from school. Oh, I couldn't get there fast enough; all I wanted to do was hug her, and hold her. I kept thinking, why? How? How could this happen in classrooms with 6-year-olds? It was just too horrible.
That was almost four years ago, but the horror of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School is still fresh in my mind, and that of every other parent, on many mornings, when we send our beloved children off to school. It's easy to feel hopeless; like there's nothing we can do to protect them in today's world.
But a new film, NEWTOWN, aims to change that. Today, Wednesday, November 2, hundreds of movie theaters nationwide will be screening the independent film about what was lost that awful day in December 2012. But the hope of the project is not just to remind us of the lives shooter Adam Lanza took, but to spur a national conversation about what we can do to end this senseless cycle of violence.
Following the film, which was produced by Maria Cuomo Cole and directed by Kim Snyder, a live conversation with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo; Nicole Hockley, the mom of Dylan, age 6, who was lost in the tragedy; Mary Anne Jacob, the surviving Sandy Hook Elementary School library clerk; and others, will be presented via satellite.
Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was lost at Sandy Hook, acknowledges that seeing the movie may be difficult for many. But he encourages us to think of it "as an investment," and a way to become "part of the solution."
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook, where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.