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Scene of tragedy reduced to rubble

It's gone. Turned into rubble. Never to rise again. And for the families of 20 students and 6 teachers that died there December 12 of last year, the news of its death has not been exaggerated (apologies to Mark Twain).

It's nothing more than piles of broken glass, bricks and metal.

And sadness, where joy and learning once lived. For once, these old acquaintances should be forgotten and never spoken of again.

Sandy Hook Elementary School, the same school where 20 students and 6 teachers lost their lives in December of 2012 is no more. The school, a sad reminder of the madness of Andrew Lanza, who eventually took his life, is gone. The school was a crime scene for most of the year after the shooting and students were sent to nearby Chalk Hill Middle School, which was converted for them, two weeks after the shooting.

$1.4 million dollars was spent by the town of Newton, Connecticut to demolish the school and construction crews recently finished the demolition, which cost about $850 thousand, according to a press release from the city. Additionally, abatement cost $1.3 million.

The process of building a new elementary school in the town will likely begin this year in the late summer or early fall months. Residents voted last October to raze the structure and reconstruct a new academic building on a modified version of the former site. Nothing will stand where a gunman killed 26 individuals in December 2012.

First Selectman Pat Llorda told the Hartford Courant, “We will confront what we have to confront and get it behind us. We can handle whatever it is we have to handle, I still think we are all in this together.”

The Board of Selectman appointed 12 residents to decide the nature, location and funding of a permanent memorial to honor the 20 first-grade students and six educators killed in the massacre. Next, groups will finalize the architectrual and engineering drawings of the new building.

We can almost be assured of this. There will be no mention of Lanza. That is probably because he deserves none. Heroes get schools, hospitals, roads and stadiums. Murders don't and shouldn't. No one wants to claim, "I go to Adam Lanza Elementary." Let's hope they get it right the first time. While it's sad that he had the mental problems that haunted him almost his entire life before his cowardly death after he first killed his mother and then went on his now-famous (or infamous) shooting spree.

It's gone. Never to be seen or looked at again. Poked and probed by police looking for the answers as to the why the actions of a madman, one that hated and despised holidays, that didn't want to be touched, emailed his mother even though they were in the same house and spoke in only one or two word sentences, took place. The 20 students that were sent there to learn by their parents that day as well as the six adults whose one job was to make sure they were safe are gone. Their voices were stilled by Lanza's hate and arrogance. Lanza though he had won that day and instead of standing up to the justice system, chose to be a coward and take his own life. The people of Sandy Hook wish to hear his name mentioned never again. They voices may have been stilled, 26 people may have died in the wake of that day.

And yet their spirits still live.