Parkland by Dave Cullen, Review
I was working in my cubicle when my email pinged. It was my son's school saying they had been on lockdown earlier this morning. My heart stopped. Everything got very still. I broke out in an immediate sweat, vomit begin to rise in my throat and I heard nothing except the pounding of my heart. I am five minutes away from his campus and I was grabbing for my car keys as I continued reading. Luckily it was a false alarm -- everything was fine -- the school was just writing to inform the parents to make them aware in case your child came home talking about it. The drills that they practice every month worked; everyone knew what to do and where to go and they were now going to continue about their day since the security threat had proven to be false. I sat here shaking for a good ten minutes... grateful that nothing happened, thankful that he was back at his desk working unharmed, and anxious to hug him so very tight.
This did not happen at Parkland. I can not imagine what it was like for the students as they watched their classmates fall and for the parents as they waited to hear whether or not their child made it out. I read Dave Cullen’s incredible coverage of the Parkland aftermath several weeks ago and have been unable to articulate all the things that I want to say about this profound book. The kids that were affected by this tragedy took their hurt and grief and channeled it in to the largest call to action regarding gun reform that this country has ever witnessed. The appearances and the speeches that they gave showed wisdom beyond their years. The threats that they received and are still receiving because they dared speak out are mind blowing and disgusting. Cullen covers it all with grace and the utmost care.
When you get home today, hug your people extra tight. When you are out and about running your errands, extend some kindness to the strangers around you. Tomorrow is not promised and it is up to us to be a light in the darkness. It is up to us to protect our children. I don't have the answers... all I have is a mother's heart and the knowledge that all children- everywhere - deserve better.