‘I guess you were needed up there, though we’re still unaware as why.’

Posted on Saturday, December 15th, 2012 by

Yesterday, 27 families watched the world around them crumble. The news of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut reached me right before I was about to take my last final of the week. Immediately, I began to pray because it was all I could do to maintain control of my emotions. Today, I have had the chance to reflect on the event and even did some reading of the tradgey. My list of prayers extends to everyone grieving, but it focuses on a few groups:

-The families of the twenty children who died. These children will not have the chance to dance when it snows, cuddle up with mom on Christmas eve, and anticipate the arrival of Santa, all of the aspects I loved about the holiday season as a child. Not only this, but they will never graduate from high school, get the chance to go to college and find a job, and potentially start a family of their own. We lost twenty little beating hearts which could have contributed beauty to this world.

-The family of the shooter. I don’t have any idea what was going through this man’s mind, but clearly something wasn’t right. His high school friends describe him as a goth who didn’t talk much. Maybe he just needed a little bit of love, but he cracked and committed a massacre at an elementary school. Prayers go out to his brother and other family member because I can’t imagine how hard it is for them to find peace right now. But I hope they find peace at some point in their lives.

-The families of the adults that died, including the shooter’s mother. Articles described that one of the victims was looking forward to seeing the Hobbit and she had made cupcakes specifically for the event. Each of them was a hero who tried to protect the innocent children of the school and I hope their families can recognize the sacrifice they gave. Peace be with them.

Even if you are not a religious person or even a spiritual person in any sense, I want you to know what prayer means to me. It means healing and love and everything in between. When I feel absolutely helpless about a situation, my thoughts to God are the only way I can find some sort of peace. Right now, I’m thankful that this Thursday I get to make a gingerbread house with my 8 year old twin cousins and that tomorrow I get to make lefse with my grandpa. Life is fragile, mourning death is inevitable, but finding peace is the only way to make this time on earth bearable. Please think of the families and wish them the best during this holiday season.

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I may have the most generic Scandinavian name but I like to think I’m far from ordinary.

For 20 years of my life, I have rocked the suburbs like Jon Bon Jovi did, except that he was talented (as Ben Folds would say). In high school, I was involved in speech, debate, concert band, marching band, and volunteer work. To this day, I enjoy tossing the Frisbee disc with friends, reading an absurd amount of books, writing poetry and listening excessively to every genre of music excluding country.

At Concordia, I play the flute in the Symphonic Band, play ultimate frisbee, am an orientation leader, am a leader in science academy, work for the admissions office, do biology research, and am working to bring an organization to campus called Girls In Real Life which is meant to improve the self esteem of women everywhere. I also enjoy volunteering at Sanford hospital on the weekends. My majors are biology and history with a minor in chemistry and I will be graduating in 2015. I hope to join the peace corps after college and then attend graduate school for public health and possibly law.

In the future and in the present, my main goal is to make a difference in the world. I believe people are inherently good and I search for the upside in every situation. People have described me as a ray of sunshine, but I’d just say I am an opportunist who believes in love and lifelong happiness.