I can’t think of a sadder sentence than “Your child died for nothing.” Whether it happens on battlefields, in classrooms, gated communities, shopping malls, movie theaters, city streets, private homes, college campuses or front porches, I can’t think of anything sadder to say to a parent.
I’m heartsick and I’m furious that we’ve come to this: that fear rules so many of our lives, leaving a vacuum which hate longs to occupy. I’ve often said that I don’t believe in messiahs but in creating a world in which a messiah would feel at home. I’ll go further now and don my prophetic sackcloth. There is a day coming and it’s coming sooner than you might think, on which a glorious train will be leaving the station. Almost everyone will want to be passengers, but those who cling to hatred and fear and only pay lip service to love will not be issued a ticket. They will have to content themselves instead with staring down the empty tracks the train has left behind. And stare they will, for the thought of going back to their own homes and their own lives will be too much to bear.