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December 12, 2013 8:26 am

Anniversary of mass killing at Sandy Hook a painful reminder

Written by Tom Lawrence

Thumbs down to the pain the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are feeling as the one-year anniversary arrives this weekend.

While we support and send our sympathy to the families of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012, we continue to shake our head over this horrid event. A confused, deeply troubled young man — we will not mention his name — killed 20 young students and six adult staff members after murdering his mother in their home.

It was one of many mass killings in our country, but this one, happening at a school, with small children targeted, struck a chord with millions of people. It was a dark day, and one that continues to cast a shadow on the American horizon.

To learn more about the victims and to pay your respects, go to MySandyHookFamily.org, a new online memorial.

Thumbs up to available flu shots.

Reasonably priced vaccinations are available for under-insured residents or those on Medicaid, according to Bill Crampton, nurse manager for Park County Public Health. Reduced-cost shots for adults who are uninsured or under-insured will cost $15; the normal fee is $25.

Crampton said all the vaccinations weren’t used in the past and some were wasted. He’d like to change that this year, and we echo that sentiment.

Flu shots aren’t available for infants 6 months and younger, but if everyone in a family or household is vaccinated, there is a much lesser risk of an infant being exposed. If you want to see if you are eligible, call Public Health at 754-8870.

Thumbs down to the bone-chilling cold that gripped the area for 10 days.

It forced the cancellation of the annual lighted parade, had people hustling to and from vehicles and buildings, and made driving a dangerous activity. Frankly, it was a dreadful period.

We won’t be sorry to see this pass, and are happy to hear forecasts of temperatures above freezing moving into the region starting today. Hopefully, it will help peel some ice off roads, streets and sidewalks, while also lowering heating bills a tad.

We love winter. Well, we like it. OK, we tolerate it.

We welcome a white Christmas, which is an American tradition. But we don’t care for white-knuckle driving on ice, people turning blue because of arctic weather or red-faced rage over a huge heating bill. Let’s hope that was the worst blast this winter has in store for us.

Thumbs up to the skilled Powell High School drama team for bringing home its third consecutive state championship.

The PHS thespians claimed the title at the State Drama Tournament in Cheyenne over the weekend. One of their one-act plays, “The Yellow Boat,” was a powerfully honest look at the death of a child from AIDS-related complications. The other was “Riders to the Sea,” a tragic play set in Ireland about a woman who has lost her husband and sons to the sea.

Theater students also excelled in competitions for makeup, publicity, scenic design, costumes and lighting.

It’s good to see these fledgling artists tackle challenging, meaningful topics in their stage work.

We’re proud of PHS students’ hard work and award-winning performances this fall on the stage, on the court and on the field.

Thumbs up to the discovery of a time capsule in the old Cody library building.

The forgotten metal box was placed in a corner of the building in 1965. While it didn’t contain gold or other precious items, it did offer a glimpse into our past. The Park County Commission and some other interested folks were excited to see what was in it when it was opened Dec. 3.

We hope other collections of memories are out there and come to the surface someday. As William Faulkner famously wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

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