10 Miles Away

10 miles.

A 3 hour walk, half that for a jogger. 10 minutes on the highway, 15 to 20 if
you take the state roads. A half gallon of gas for some cars, a third or a quarter if you drive a more efficient one.

Light takes 0.000053763 seconds to traverse that distance (in vacuum). It takes sound 46.875 seconds.

There are many ways you can look at it but there’s only one way I can look at it
right now. It’s the distance from Sandy Hook Elementary School to my house.

Newtown is a lot like Bethel: a small New England town in Western Connecticut.
Our towns play each other in school sports. Their kids play on the regional
hockey team with our kids. I’d argue that their town is a little quieter than
our own. The highlight of social activity there is the Edmon Town Hall Theater
where you can see movies (if you don’t mind waiting a couple of months after
they’ve had their run in the main theaters) for $2.

What I’m trying to get at is that what happened there could very well have
happened here. I know it. Everyone in our town knows it too. We’re thankful that
the horrific tragedy missed us, but we feel terrible for them.

10 miles.

I think that tragedies don’t really hit home, until they hit close to home.

Our town’s schools were in lockdown. One advantage we have is that all of the
schools are located in an “education park” (much like an industrial park) and
there are limited access points so it’s easy for our police force to establish
a defensive perimeter. Nobody gets in or out.

But while we knew our kids were safe, we wanted to get to them and hug them. We
had to wait and any parent knows how agonizing that can be.

I’m not going to politicize this. Plenty of people already are doing that on TV,
radio, the internet, and even the telephone. I listen to them and ask, “What
the hell do you know about us? You’re not from here. You’re just using this to
push your own agenda.” But apparently there’s no waiting period for that.

10 miles.

In the coming days and weeks we’ll learn more than we care to about what
happened. I know I’m not alone in wanting to push the images away. All parents
are doing what they can to block out the unthinkable. But it just keeps coming
back.

10 miles.

\_/
DED

About DED

I'm a stay-at-home Dad who survived dotcom burnout and a chemical engineering career that fizzled. While the kids are in school, I'm free to write stories. I'm a rational environmentalist, science and technology enthusiast, who leans libertarian, reads and watches sci-fi, drinks and brews beer, and listens to metal.
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2 Responses to 10 Miles Away

  1. Dave says:

    DEDly Universe,

    I am glad this tragedy missed you and your family, but still our thoughts are with you even though it missed you (thankfully) as it still has a tremendous impact on your lives.

    The ‘Matrix’ Universe misses those wonderful Traveler game days.

  2. DED says:

    Thanks, Dave. :)