The Best of Times, The Worst of Times?

Rachel Tropp ‘16
EE Staff Writer

The past six months have been rough for the United States. It seems like wave after wave of unprecedented tragedy have hit, and large-scale purposeful death and injury are more prominent than any time in the recent past.

Of course, the world was shocked by the Sandy Hook shooting December 14, when twenty-six people were killed two weeks before Christmas.However, the terror didn’t end.

In late April, the Boston bombing shook people who wanted to watch a marathon, but instead got three dead on site, almost 150 injured, and a cop murdered at nearby MIT. Then, just weeks ago, another shooting happened on Mothers’ Day. The nineteen injured were marching in a parade when three gunmen fired on them. There were no fatalities, but the gunmen got away. Reminiscent of the Aurora movie theater shooting from last year, all these victims were innocents enjoying themselves when they became victims of the insanity.

All of this tragedy and destruction has not boded well for the happiness of the general population. It seems that more and more people are losing hope and viewing the whole world in a negative light. However, it’s time to remember that these incidents do not define humanity. For every Lanza and Tsarnaev, there are hundreds of people pulling together to right the situation as best they can.

The Sandy Hook tragedy is a shining example of how people can be good even in the midst of such horror. Of course, there are those who died to save others, but even those not present on that day have done splendidly to help the families and the school as much as they can be helped.

Over seven million dollars were raised to help the forty families most affected by the massacre; counselors worked for free to help any walk-ins who might need to talk; and the Red Cross and Save the Children, two huge nonprofit organizations, have put forth an effort to overcome the trauma and heal the victims.

Around the world, candlelight vigils were held and people gathered to memorialize those lost; even celebrities like One Republic joined in the effort. Monroe gave Chalk Hill Elementary to Newtown for use and even here in Trumbull people have shown how much they care. The Links of Love, the Sandy Hook bracelets, the fundraisers—the victims are lost, but not forgotten. All of this tragedy was a result of one man with a gun; it is that one man who chose to hurt so many. But standing against him is the whole world; every single person who helped and every single person who prayed and every single person who cared—that is something worth more to the value of mankind than any gunman could detract.

While the victims of Sandy Hook were legislating for gun control, new horror struck in the form of the Boston bombing. But people rose to the occasion to support the victims and catch the perpetrators there, too. Just look at the all-day manhunt– the whole city stopped for a day to allow massive numbers of policemen to search for the culprits. All of Boston pitched in and facilitated the capture, and afterwards the country pitched in to raise money for the injured. Millions have been amassed for the One Fund Boston Inc. and for individual victims, many of whom are amputees with hefty medical bills.

It was two men who made the bombs; two men who ruined a hundred lives. But everyone else is attempting to put them together again. Nothing can bring those people back or make them whole again, but no one should forget that the majority of people only want to help victims, not make victims.

Truly, it’s not humanity that is evil, but individual humans. More people are good than bad even in the darkest times. It is frightening to see the state of our country recently—if people are so cold-blooded that having fun is impossible without fear, it sends a threatening message about the future. However, it is clear that people can collectively rise above it all. When it comes down to it, all anyone wants is to protect each other from the rest of the world.

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