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Friday, December 13, 2013

In Memorium: Sandy Hook Remembered

#blog #sandyhook #avgeek #aviation
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In honor of the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy, the Following is an updated Repost of my 12/17/12 article, "Answers to the Sandy Hook Tragedy Found in the Christmas Season." The original link can be found here:
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We are all searching for answers after the Sandy Hook school tragedy.  Here's a very important message that relates to the Season...

On the VERY SAME DAY of the school shooting last year, a group of pilots for an organization called "Pilots for Kids" quietly visited and distributed toys and stuffed animals to sick kids at the Phoenix Children's Hospital.
The "Pilots for Kids" team at the Phoenix Children's Hospital
(12/13/13 Addendum: sadly, this year it's been "deja vü all over again". . . another school shooting occurred at the exact same time, this time in Colorado. Fortunately, there's been minimal casualties.)

I have done this for the past several years.  It has always been rewarding, but this year was particularly poignant, as each of us had witnessed in helpless horror the tragedy unfolding on the news that morning.  We had no choice but to put on our happy faces and do our best to bring a little joy into several innocent, suffering, sweet little lives.

We would have done it anyway, regardless of the days' news.
My point . . .
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Cap'n Aux visits his new friend Hannah

While a few sick, evil deeds are daily splashed across the headlines, MILLIONS of GOOD, BEAUTIFUL deeds are quietly being performed around the world.  MILLIONS are daily bringing comfort, JOY, and a smile to a child's face.

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I  also gave Marcus and Hannah a copy of my first novel, "Code Name: Dodger."  100% of proceeds from the novel go to the orphanage charity,
I am privileged to do this once a year.  But DAILY, around the globe, others voluntarily perform these heroic deeds, for no other reason than to help others in their needs.

You don't need to be a Christian to ingest these words of wisdom:
"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."—James 1:27

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Thousands showed up spontaneously to pray and show support for the victims and their families.

Mother Sue comforts son James after the ordeal.
My friend Terry, former coworker, pilot and regular reader of this blog, went to the very same Sandy Hook grade school.  His brother's children were in school that day.  PRAISE GOD, they were able to escape unharmed (see pic, R).

(and especially for those of the victims and their families!)

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Sandy Hook vigil

  We live in a free society.

  We can take precautions, but, sadly, this will happen again.

  It is easy to be distracted by the awful headlines, get discouraged, become fearful of the world outside our own doors, and fall into despair.

Nevertheless, I say again,


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From the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

"I have not lost faith. I'm not in despair, because I know that there is a moral order. I haven't lost faith, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice...With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope...and all over the world we will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we're free at last!'"

 "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."—Edmund Burke

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For those parents groping for what to say to your children...this is what you tell them!

"Love conquers all"—Virgil, 70BC-19BC
see also 1 Corinthians 13

In the midst of this tragedy, let us not forget the spirit of the season.  

Whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, or otherwise, I bid each and every one of you....


May the survivors and families of the Sandy Hook tragedy eventually find peace and healing in their hearts. May the beautiful victims rest in peace.

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Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38

When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.

Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.

They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy; they didn't know what to say.

They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

“Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.

“This is heaven" declared a small boy. "We’re having Christmas at God's house.”

When what to their wondering eyes did appear, but Jesus, their savior,

The children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same. Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring Those children all flew into the arms of their King

And as they lingered in His loving embrace, One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face. if He could read all the questions she had, He gently whispered to her, 

"I'll take care of mom and dad.“Then He looked down on earth, the world far below

He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe, Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,

“Let My power and presence re-enter this land! May this country be delivered from the hands of fools

“I’m taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!” Then He and the children stood up without a sound.

“Come now my children let me show you around.” Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.

All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can. And they heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, 

“In the midst of this darkness,” I AM STILL THE LIGHT."


— — — — — — — —
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CLICK HERE to support the victims of Sandy Hook via United Way!

"Evil Did Not Win: Emily's Story"

— — — — — — — —
This post is dedicated to the memory of "Heaven's Newest Angel":
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Victoria Leigh Soto: The Beautiful Heroine of Sandy Hook
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Victoria remembered:
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— — — — — — — —
More relevant passages and beautiful tributes to those lost...

"Hallelujah"sung by the cast and crew of The Voice:

A beautiful passage from "Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965):

My favorite song of all time, sung by an amazingly graceful young man: 

— — — — — — — — —
I refuse to so much as mention the killer's name, his story, nor post links to the investigation here. If you feel compelled to investigate further, it's all over the internet.

We will return to our regular blog next Wednesday


  1. Tremendous post Captain. Merry Christmas to you and yours.


    1. Thank you, Jerry. I wish you the best of Holiday Season, and Merry Christmas!

  2. Crikey, where does the time go - a year already....


    1. IKR, Dave from the UK! Hope things are well for you over the Pond this season!

  3. Another beautiful post. Time flies and so much has much loss and sadness. But what's important are people like yourself caring and doing the good. Keep up the great work!!! You are making a difference.

    1. Thank you, Karlene! Such a hard thing to even fathom--such searing pain!!

      You are making a diff too, Karlene--you know it!!

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  5. Victoria Leigh Soto is the cousin of believe it or not, Benjamin Franklin! Also, she shares the same ancestry as the hero, Gary Michael Joy!

  6. Victoria Leigh Soto should get the Carnegie Hero award!

  7. Jud Askins suggested that Victoria Leigh Soto is the most beautiful woman. She died to save others.
    Victoria Leigh Soto is the 10th cousin twice removed of American Bandstand Host, Dick Clark!
    Edward FULLER
    Matthew FULLER-(siblings)-Samuel FULLER
    Elizabeth FULLER-(1st cousin)-John FULLER
    Mercy (Mary) ROWLEY-(2nd cousin)-Samuel FULLER
    Shubael WEEKS-(3rd cousin)-John FULLER
    Joanna WEEKS-(4th cousin)-Asa FULLER
    Robert HATCH-(5th cousin)-Charles FULLER
    Prince HATCH-(6th cousin)-Charles FULLER
    Henry Robert Manning HATCH-(7th cousin)-Jane Sophia FULLER
    Waverly HATCH-(8th cousin)-Charles Fuller BARNARD
    Helen Victoria Hatch-(9th cousin)-Julia Fuller BARNARD
    Janice L. Biebel-(10th cousin)-Richard Wagstaff "Dick" CLARK
    Donna Soto-(10th cousin once removed)-Richard Wagstaff "Dick" CLARK
    Victoria Leigh Soto (HEROINE!!!!!!)-(10th cousin twice removed)-Richard Wagstaff "Dick" CLARK

  8. Victoria Leigh Soto was the cousin of Benjamin Franklin, William Franklin, and William Temple Franklin.
    Peter Folger
    Joanna Folger-(siblings)-Abiah Folger
    Phebe Tobeyha Coleman-(1st cousin)-Benjamin Franklin
    Mary Cathcart-(2nd cousin)-William Franklin
    Robert Hatch Sr.-(3rd cousin)-William Temple Franklin
    Robert Hatch Jr.-(3rd cousin, once removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Henry Hatch-(3rd cousin, twice removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Henry Robert Manning Hatch-(3rd cousin, thrice removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Waverly Hatch-(3rd cousin, 4x removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Helen Victoria Hatch-(3rd cousin, 5x removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Janice Louise Biebel-(3rd cousin, 6x removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Donna L. Fagan-(3rd cousin, 7x removed)-William Temple Franklin
    Victoria Leigh Soto-(3rd cousin, 8x removed)-William Temple Franklin

  9. Her student, Jesse McCord Lewis is also a hero! He was the natural child of Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis. Natural Child means a child born out of wedlock. He was the cousin of Benjamin, William, and William Temple Franklin.

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