The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

August 31, 2013

With parade, Newtown reflects 'how we're healing'

ATHENS — NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Ten thousand decisions go into creating a big, boisterous parade. No one knows that better than Robin Buchanan, who for years has juggled the lineup at the Labor Day parade that has jubilantly closed out every Newtown summer for more than five decades.

But never before had this happened: Calls and emails from regulars, folks who always marched, concerned about the most basic decision of all.

"Are you going to have a parade," they asked her, "this year?"

This year.

Meaning: After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, after the eulogies for 20 first-graders and six educators, amid the drumbeat of news stories across the country and hushed conversations around town, all adding up — still — to incomprehension.

A parade, this year?

On an icy evening back in January, barely a month after the shootings, a small group met with sad hugs to confront that question.

It's always been a daunting task for the Labor Day Parade Committee to map out the two-hour extravaganza — to arrange the vintage warplane flyovers or get the stagecoach that's pulled by four matched horses or the ballfield-size American flag, or whatever, to make sure of security and to hash out ways to pay the bills.

But this time, the committee members — two of whom serve out of devotion even though they're divorced from each other — sat hollow-eyed under the fluorescent lights of a bank conference room. Outside, handmade memorials still fluttered on lampposts. The funerals were still raw memories.

How could you focus on a parade? Who would be the grand marshal, a happy honor normally but surely a heavy burden this time around? What would the theme be? Could it be anything but a memorial? But if so, what kind of parade is that?

1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee