Amish Community Heals, Slowly

Nearly a year after school shootings, town makes peace with the aftermath
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 12:12 PM CDT
Children play basketball at the newly-reopened schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., Monday, April 2, 2007, built to replace the razed West Nickel Mines Amish School where a gunman killed five students and...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – It's been almost a year since the shooting spree at an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania in which five girls were killed and five wounded. In the Lancaster New Era, the families talk with stunning directness about the particular pain of losing a child and making peace with the "new normal." "You can wake up one day and think, 'You know what? I'm starting to heal," says one mother.

The schoolhouse that replaced the crime scene has been a source of anxiety but also of hope. One victim's family lives nearby, so close the schoolyard noise carries. "It's been a ray of sunshine for me," her mother says. The community plans no public events for the Oct. 2 anniversary; for the families, every day is a commemoration.