“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”

— Sir Isaac Newton

Breaking News: Dec. 14, 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shoots 20 children aged 6 and 7 years old, as well as six adult staff members.

How time flies as we grow older. It seems like just yesterday that these beautiful young children died. Do you remember them? Of course you do. Did you write them down, the names? You didn’t? I know. We’ve all been very busy since then. After all, how can anyone expect us to remember them all? Blacksburg, Virginia, in 2007 with 32 killed. Wasn’t it 12 dead in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012? There was San Ysidro, California where 21 died, but that was 1984. Who can remember that far back?

But 20 small children between 6 and 7? If not then, when? Major gun control action? 0.

I understand. So to save you some time and refresh your memory, I’ve taken a moment to list the children of Sandy Hook once again:

Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel Davino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Hochsprung, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler and Allison N. Wyatt. Twenty of them ages 6 and 7.

Twenty graduations, 20 marriages, 20 annual Christmases that will never happen.

This is not even to mention the damaged parents left behind.

Breaking news June 12: Gunman massacres 49 at nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

It was only a week ago tomorrow, a week. You saw the faces, read the names? Forty-nine deaths that could have been prevented if only the wife of the murderer had made an anonymous call. She didn’t and 49 died.

In case you don’t remember all of their names, and in case you want to cut this column out and fix it to your fridge, here they are:

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34; Stanley Almodovar III, 23; Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20; Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22; Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36; Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22; Luis S. Vielma, 22; Kimberly Morris, 37; Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30; Darryl Roman Burt II, 29; Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32; Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21; Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25; Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35; Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50; Amanda Alvear, 25; Martin Benitez Torres, 33; Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37; Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26; Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35; Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25; Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31; Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26; Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25; Miguel Angel Honorato, 30; Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40; Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32; Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19; Cory James Connell, 21; Juan P. Rivera-Velazquez, 37; Luis Daniel Conde, 39; Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33; Juan Chavez-Martinez, 25; Jerald Arthur Wright, 31; Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25; Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25; Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24; Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27; Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33; Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49; Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24; Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32; Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28; Frank Hernandez, 27; Paul Terrell Henry, 41; Antonio Davon Brown, 29; Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24; Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25; Akyra Monet Murray, 18.

Forty-nine dead, 53 injured.

The majority were Hispanic and gay. There were many native born, many from Puerto Rico and, according to the Mexican embassy, at least three from Mexico. Pulse is a well-known gay night club full of what a Turkish newspaper called “perverts.”

Now you have the list. What will you do? You will do what the survivors of the Holocaust did. You will force yourself to remember. You will not forget these children, not one of them.

You will send a personal message of one line to your representatives in Augusta and Washington; one line for them to remember.

God counts a mother’s tears.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. Some of his best Morning Sentinel columns have been collected in his book, “Will Write for Food.”


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