Today December 17, 2012 is Monday, the first school day since the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed so many young lives last week. Like millions of other American parents, I sent my kids off to school today knowing that the difficult family discussions we had over the weekend will continue in the classroom, as educators and students address yet another tragic outburst of violence in our schools. Today, the first of many funerals will take place in Newtown, after a weekend of vigils and mourning. President Obama visited Newtown on Sunday, speaking before an auditorium of grieving parents. "We can't accept events like this as routine," he said, "These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change."
A boy holds on to a man's coat while they hug at a makeshift memorial near Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a mass shooting took place, in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 16, 2012. Worshipers filled Sunday services to mourn the victims of a gunman's rampage at the school that killed 20 children and six adults.
President Barack Obama, after speaking at a vigil held at Newtown High School, on December 16, 2012. Obama consoled the Connecticut town shattered by the massacre of 20 young schoolchildren, lauding residents' courage in the face of tragedy and saying the United States was not doing enough to protect its children.
From left, Newtown residents Claire Swanson, Kate Suba, Jaden Albrecht, Simran Chand and New London, Connecticut residents Rachel Pullen and her son Landon DeCecco, hold candles at a memorial for victims on the first Sunday following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, on December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)