Noah Pozner, the youngest victim of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, was just six years old when he was killed last month in a hail of bullets at Sandy Hook Elementary School — an occurrence so incomprehensible that even the passage of the better part of a month makes it difficult to type those words.
Few details about the mechanics of the horror have been disclosed for obvious reasons, but the mother of Noah Pozner has commented on the singularly nightmarish experience of viewing and identifying her little boy’s body — and while it is likely one of the more difficult things you will read for some time, it also feels like Americans owe it to Veronique Pozner to listen and bear witness to her account of Noah’s death and the wounds he sustained in the course of the attack.
In the wake of the Newtown school shooting, Americans have been locked in a fierce debate about the ethics and constitutionality of guns in the US, and many have been accused of “politicizing” the tragedy in order to further their own agendas.
But when the dust settles and the controversy merchants move on, we are left with the utterly senseless deaths of 20 six and seven-year-old children, first graders, and six of their teachers. And there’s something to be said about viewing the incident without the veneer of teddy bear memorials and celebrity-studded versions of “Hallelujah,” seeing it for what it is — a violent act that was both brutal and preventible, a violent act that the parents of Noah Pozner as well as the 19 other children murdered must face every day until the day they themselves die.
When the shock of the Newtown shooting was still fresh, CNN commentator Roland Martin suggested that a parent of one of the children gunned down perhaps mirror the actions of Mamie Till, mother of slain black teenager Emmett Till.