Bravery is not the lack of fear, it is action in spite of fear.
Friday morning a tragedy unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. On that day a deranged gunman murdered his parents then stole his mothers guns and went on a rampage that ripped 26 people out of this life, among those who died were 20 children between the ages of six and ten years old. But out of the darkness of that day emerged the light of selflessness, sacrifice, and love.
In the first act of Heroism in this tragedy when the gunman stormed into the school guns blazing, Principal Dawn Hochsprung, and school psychologist Mary Sherlach rushed at him trying to stop him. They were both killed trying to stop this tragedy, they gave their lives trying to save the children.
Then there were the actions of teacher Kaitlin Riog, when she heard the gun shots she put her kids in the bathroom in her classroom, locked the door then pulled a storage unit in front of the room to further protect her children. She was able to lock her classroom door until the police arrived. Kaitlin fearing the person knocking on her classroom was the gunman made the police officer slide his badge under the door, she then told them if they were really the police they could get the keys and open her door. She was not going to take the chance this was a ruse by the gunman. Kaitlin only unlocked the bathroom door and let the children out when the police unlocked her door and proved it was them.
Then there are the Heroic actions of teacher Victoria Soto. Hearing the commotion and the gun shots Victoria hid her children in a closet and in cabinets in the classroom, before she could lock the door the gunman stormed into her class demanding to know where the children were, Victoria told him they were in the gym. In her final act of bravery Victoria Soto stood in the face of a deranged, evil man and shielded her students from his hail of bullets with her own body. The gunman shot her in cold blood. Victoria Soto died defending those who could not defend themselves, she gave her life so her children could have theirs. Victoria Soto is a hero in every sense of the word, the world is better for her having lived, and she will be missed by everyone who knew her.
Then there were the actions of the worker who turned on the PA system to alert the rest of the school to the danger, a custodian who risked his life to run through the halls shouting warnings of danger, and the clerk who led 18 children on their hands and knees to safety then had the where with all to give those children crayons and paper to keep them quiet and calm. I know in the days to come more stories of Heroism will come to light, it is in the darkest times we find out who will stare down danger and protect those who cannot protect themselves.
To the Heroes we know about, Dawn Hochsprung, Mary Sherlach, Kaitlin Riog, and Victoria Soto and the Heroes that remain unknown to us, from the bottom of this old soldiers heart thank you, without you many more children would have fallen to the evil that came to your school. These women prove that there are Sheep Dogs everywhere, and they will sacrifice everything to protect those they love.
Greater love hath no one than that they will lay their life down for their fellow-man. God bless the Heroes of Sandy Hook Elementary, and God bless those who lost their lives especially the children, and please watch over those left to carry on.