Tom Kretsch is a Westport photographer and soccer referee. He retired a few years ago, after a long career as an educator in Norwalk.
Tom grew up in Newtown. Last June, he and his high school classmates celebrated their 50th reunion. With approximately 80 graduates, they were a small class. But they’ve kept close through the years.
Their joyful reunion included a slide show. Tom took all the photos of places in town that meant so much to them growing up — places like Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Today, on behalf of his reunion committee, Tom sent these thoughts to his classmates:
On a crisp December morning, as the spirit of the holidays flowed through the streets of our small New England town, an act of unfathomable horror swept through the doors of what once was the school for many of our classmates.
In a place where people send their children to be safe, warm and secure, unspeakable acts of violence were perpetrated upon them. And our town, a sleepy quiet place where community and care are ubiquitous, has become a worldwide centerpiece for one of the worst terrorist acts in our nation’s history.
Flags around the country are at half-mast, our president is in tears, and there are few words of comfort to share at this time. But we wanted to reach out to all our classmates. For we all share this love for our town and what it has meant to us.
As we gathered with such joy last June to relive old memories and reacquaint ourselves after a 50-year hiatus, there was this wonderful aura of friendship and togetherness. The laughter, stories, shared bonds and spirit was so contagious. The love of this town was ever-present.
In this somber moment we are united in our grief for our community. As a class we offer our prayers for a healing process to begin for all the families of this great tragedy and the town. It will be a long and arduous process, and the wounds for some may never heal. But we care and we know you do
Walk in peace.