July 20th, 2012
09:12 PM ET

Letters to the President #1278: 'Tragedy in Colorado'

Reporter's Note: President Obama has ordered flags lowered in mourning for the victims of the latest mass shooting. This one was in a Colorado movie theater.

Dear Mr. President,

I woke this morning, walked downstairs to see my wife who’d risen before me, and she said, “So I guess you haven’t heard the news? Colorado.” She pointed to the TV screen and I saw in an instant the sea of coverage already underway about the massacre in that movie theater.

To say I was profoundly sad doesn’t really tell the story. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it to you, but my family lived just a few miles from Columbine High School, and we had friends inside when that terrible shooting happened. As a result, every time one of these things happens it resonates perhaps a little more strongly for us, as I’m sure it does for anyone who has lived close to such a terrible event. And to hear it was once again near a place we once called home, was particularly disturbing.

She and I sat there for a short while watching the coverage. I had intended to go for a run, but instead I said, “I better head to the office.” I spent most of the day listening to police and rescue radio calls recorded deep in the night, watching witness accounts, and piecing together a timeline of precisely what happened when. It is work that I find interesting but depressing. I’ve always believed that one of the best ways for people to start repairing the emotional damage of such calamities, it to settle into the work of understanding what happened, and why, and how.

But it’s never easy.

Thanks for your kind words for the people suffering there. I hope all Americans can keep them in their hearts this weekend.


soundoff (One Response)
  1. Christy

    Prayers and hearts go out to all injured and to all lives lost . It impacts everyone all over . Please if you ever see anyone go to an exit and leave the door open DON'T HESITATE GO CLOSE IT. IT'S NEVER PART OF THE SHOW!!!

    With Deepest Sympothy

    July 21, 2012 at 3:44 am |