Newtown residents, especially those who lost loved ones, are reminded daily about what they lost. Many aren’t looking forward to the marking of the anniversary, where they’ll once again be forced to feel sad. ‘Call today the six-month anniversary of the last day those 26 people were alive. That’s something to celebrate,’ says Dennis Stratford, whose 6-year-old escaped the massacre.
Pat DiStassio freshened my half-empty coffee mug on the table in the Blue Colony Diner and gazed with sad eyes out the rain-streaked window at traffic whispering off Route 84 into Newtown, Conn.
“Not a day goes by when some stranger doesn’t drive off the highway and come in here and ask if this is the town where all the kids were killed. I say ‘yeah.’ And then I start crying.”
Six months after 20 children and six adults were slaughtered by a monster with an AR-15 .232 Bushmaster assault rifle in the Sandy Hook Elementary School — a half-mile from this diner — sadness still drapes Newtown. The diner walls are plastered with decorative paper hearts inscribed by school kids from around the country.