By Briana Skinner

Twenty children are dead.

What am I doing sitting here trying to complete a book review for class?

Twenty children are dead.

Did you know that they had to DNA swipe members of family, because some children were so mutilated that they can’t be recognized anymore? I sat with that for a long time. The first bullets killed them, then came a second, a third, a fourth, a fifth…

What am I doing here?

On December 14th, 2012, I was 10 years old. I was in fifth grade. I was already older than any of the twenty children who died at Sandy Hook Elementary would ever be. We started doing active shooter drills after that. My last one was in 2020, before they shut down school altogether. I can’t remember the last time any of them actually scared me.

I can’t keep sitting here.

This time it was in Texas. Every memorial I’ve seen has been in Spanish. Last week, it was in Buffalo. The youngest woman was 32. Who thought they were safe that day? One child was able to call 911 during the shooting. He died on the phone.

I have to keep remembering.

It can’t keep on like this. It’s kept on like this for ten years. Will I ever stop remembering?

I can’t stop remembering what I haven’t seen.

Were there smiles?








Twenty silent minutes pass. I don’t complete the book review.

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