First Selectman Offers Condolences, Assures Parents of Safety

First Selectman Offers Condolences, Assures Parents of Safety

Matt Knick

FIRST SELECTMAN’S OFFICE                                                                                                                      DECEMBER 19, 2012

I am sure that I speak for our entire community as I offer our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Quite honestly, I have struggled for days trying to put together some meaningful words that might convey the shock, the disbelief and the profound sense of sadness and grief we all feel. But I cannot find words that are up to that task. All I can say is the town of Bethel stands with our neighbors as they grieve, as a community, as a nation and as a people.

In times of great crisis, the first thing most people want to do is reach out and help their neighbors. I was contacted almost immediately by several Bethel restaurant owners who volunteered to provide meals for family members affected by the tragedy. Other Bethel residents immediately began organizing fund drives and collections. Our various youth groups, the high school NJROTC unit, scout troops and teen center volunteers lowered flags and began tying ribbons in remembrance of the Sandy Hook victims. Each day I learn of more activities and more people joining the effort to help in any way they can. There are too many of you to name, but I thank each and every one of you for all that you are doing. What you do to help our neighbors also strengthens our own community even more. Every single act of kindness matters.

In the wake of this terrible event, I would especially like to take a moment to reassure Bethel parents that every conceivable caution is being put in place in our own schools to make sure our children are safe. Beginning last Friday when news began to spread, our school officials and police department worked together to provide police presence in our school buildings, patrol the school campus and review safety procedures with all staff members. These steps will remain in place for the foreseeable future. In addition, police, school and town officials will meet over the holiday break to review and update safety procedures. I want our community to know that we will do everything humanly possible to insure your children are safe in school each and every day.

Time will eventually ease the feelings of shock and horror that have engulfed practically every waking minute since last week. But we must not, and will not forget the names and faces of the innocent victims. President Obama said it best when he said we are a better people than this; we can demonstrate this every day through acts of kindness which make our community and our nation stronger.

- Matthew S. Knickerbocker, First Selectman, Bethel

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Posted on December 19, 2012, in Home. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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