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It takes courage

— And in the Sandy Hook Elementary school, they were the first to respond to the violent assault on their school. It was an act beyond courage — it was the selfless response of people who care more about others than themselves. It was the response of people who, like parents, give no thought to personal safety when the safety of those they love is at risk. It was the response of people armed with nothing more than the need to protect helpless young people that led them to confront an armed maniac bare handed.

The true extent of their heroic actions will likely never be known. What is known is that they slowed the assault, impeded its progress, shielded and protected and comforted children and bought time for the “good guys” to arrive. Six paid for that time with their lives, and others inevitably would have.

And now we must understand that what was already a difficult job has now become more difficult because teaching will never again be the same. A sense of “what if” will infringe upon the day to day routine of education — the atmosphere, the energy, the very sense of what school is will change.

But teachers will not change. They will continue to do what they do — what they love to do, what they must do. They will show up every day and focus their incredible energy on the young people in front of them — to educate and guide and lead.

And we will all join them in praying that they will never again have to be heroes.

Herm Card is a frequent contributor to Eagle Newspapers. He lives in Syracuse and can be reached at herm4444@gmail.com.

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