Witness

Last night I settled in for a long winter’s nightcap of hot chocolate and a great movie.

The 1985 film classic, Witness, directed by Peter Weir, is a cinematic masterpiece with a compelling script written by William Kelley, along with Pamela and Earl W. Wallace. And an all star cast.

Samuel Identifies photo or murderer

Samuel identifies murderer

A young Amish boy, Samuel (Luke Haas) is the sole witness to a murder.  This innocent kid goes to a big city bathroom at the wrong place, wrong time.   When Policeman John Book (Harrison Ford) realizes the murder was done by one of his own, he flees with the boy and his Mom, Rachel (Kelly McGinnis) to their Amish world.

The Amish life is a haven and sharp contrast to the gritty city life. A safe retreat for both the Amish and one angry cop.  The film highlights the beauty of that serenity in a crazy world.

Thirty years later, the Amish have a reality show.  And we’re all running around with cell phones glued to our ears.

My how things have changed.

Every parent's nightmare

Every parent’s nightmare

As the film credits for Witness slipped down the screen,   I thought of  real life children and staff who witnessed 26 murders.

Twenty six murders. Twenty of them children.

There was no cinematic masterpiece with a spellbinding music score.  Only sheer horror.

A year ago, a school in Newtown lost its innocence as 26 people lost their lives.  We, as a country, bore witness with live coverage as the horrific tragedy unfolded.

And now a year later, our hearts still ache as Newtown families wait and wonder if their pain will ever go away.

This week, major news outlets will reflect one of, if not  the darkest day in our history.  We will have ‘dialogue’ with talking heads.  As there  should be.

But will there be hard core solutions to the bullying and murders in our schools? In our society?

As a culture, we know the cost of the latest cell phones, Tessla stock and film budgets.

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Newtown children return to school

But what’s the cost of a life?

A teacher’s life?

A child’s life?

On a school playground?

In a classroom?

Outrageous.