This past Friday we acknowledged the carnage of the Sandy Hook killings in Newtown, CT. Many of us participated in a moment of silence or a prayer. Some of us may have looked twice before our children ran into school. Some of us rushed to a social media site to make sure our cousins, nephews, nieces, friends and anyone we ever cared about were still OK.
We have all been affected by tragedy in our lives at some point. We may not have noticed because it was a robbery, a purse snatch or an unwanted touch. These things which are little, in some ways, do leave scars that we can overcome. Sometimes the event and outcome are so horrific the scars never come because the wound doesn’t heal. We therefore become the people that wish to make a difference. Our pain and loss mean less than what others are feeling.
We can drive the 160 mile trek up the turnpike, the parkway, the thruway, Tappan Zee and a little bit on the Wilber Cross and we find ourselves in Newtown, CT and we can’t do anything but stare. Nothing can be done but to let them, the survivors, the people, the families and all the affected, know that someone else cares. We can make the trip, but most of us can do small things that radiate our sympathy, prayer and hope for the healing that the community of Newtown needs now.
One local company has done their best to set up a healing place that will keep the lost souls of Newtown in our thoughts and prayers.
The Thackray Crane Rental Inc. are flying 26 flags from their equipment behind their Byberry Road location which is visible in full stride from Woodhaven Rd in North East Philadelphia. The flags will fly through the Christmas Holidays reflecting the pain that most of us feel for the families, survivors, the responders all and the entire little town north of New York City.
The Thackray families have always been genuine and caring where each family lives they contribute to their personal community. This is a result of the family patriarch, now deceased, Walter Thackray and his wife Anna and their commitments to service, performance, faith, family and country. It was no surprise to me when I went into the office after shooting images on a cloudy cold day that could only represent the pain and disbelief that the nation feels. I was treated well even though I was a stranger. I was ushered in to meet the top executive, Bob Thackray. I didn’t have an appointment, I just stopped by. He spoke with me about the family’s personal commitment to community. He had an associate give me the home and cell phone numbers of his siblings as well as his own. Five Thackray siblings work together running this business that was started by one man, one piece of equipment after the Second World War.
While I was waiting for a chance to see Bob, the company receptionist remarked of how many phone calls she has received from drivers that are in the holding pattern from the Woodhaven road congestion. That in itself shows how we were all affected by the killings and with Christmas on our doorstep I think the pain was a little deeper.
The Thackray family, in typical form released a simple statement which reads:
Coming from a very close knit family, we have a strong belief in our Lord, in God and in our Country.
Although we are not in the immediate Newtown Community, this horrific tragedy has touched everyone to the very depth. Our hearts are broken and we have all been deeply saddened.
This display is our way to honor the lives of the children and the adult hero’s that perished.
Our prayers are with their families and the Newtown Community.
Then it was simply signed; The Thackray Crane Family and Employees.
I was impressed and blessed to experience these humble families that have made it their mission to help us heal and always remember.