Guest Blogger: Rob Anders, Tillman Military Scholar Class 1, Georgetown University and Newtown (CT) High School Class of 1998
Newtown is a marvelous place, a charming little New England town nestled among the rolling hills of western Connecticut. The center of the town boasts a 100-foot-tall flagpole in the middle of Main Street. At its top, the American flag waves high above the churches there, the General Store, the Old Inn, Proud Mary’s Tavern and the Edmond Town Hall, which shows $2 movies on Saturday nights. Just down the road is the town library, the Newtown Bee printing press and everyone’s favorite little ice cream parlor. Among the farms and tucked-away neighborhoods, the sprawling trees are old, stately and magnificent in autumn. The annual Labor Day Parade brings out the entire town in red, white and blue and everyone marches from the Veteran’s War Memorial down past the giant flagpole to the Ram Pasture, ending at the Middle School.
The parade is the only thing that ends at a school in Newtown; everything else begins there. The center of the community has forever been Newtown’s children. The community pours its heart and soul into its young people. The schools are excellent and the town is replete with athletic fields, playgrounds and opportunities to explore, learn and grow. The town thrives only because its children thrive, and they do so because it’s a place of strong values, virtue, faith and tolerance.
Newtown represents all that is good about America, stretching back to the Revolutionary War when Rochambeau’s troops camped there as they marched with General George Washington en route to Yorktown in 1781. Since then, it has become the home of Olympic athletes, Eagle Scouts, state champions (NHS Girls Soccer & U11 Little League in 2012), artists, businessmen, musicians, volunteers and public servants all who give back. It’s a place where you’re bound to bump into a friend at the grocery store, or where the barber will cheer your name when you walk in, even if it’s been 10 years since your last haircut there. It’s even the birthplace of Scrabble, where the first game of words with friends was played in 1948.
Newtown is America the way Norman Rockwell painted it. Not everyone is from Newtown, but there’s a little part of Newtown in every part of this country. The quilted community that Newtown has stitched so tight and with such great devotion has been desecrated in a way that tears at the very fabric of America.
Please consider making a donation (https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/), however small, to those most profoundly affected.