Until a few days ago, Die Welt editor Iris Anyali, who has a son in an American kindergarten, made fun of the security measures at his school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. But Anyali writes that after the tragedy of Newtown, Connecticut, she will never do so again.
For Die Welt, Iris Anyali, writing about her change of heart, says in small part:
My five-year-old son Finn goes to an American kindergarten – one exactly like Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
As I write these lines, the massacre of Newtown is a day old, and until two days ago, I made fun of Finn’s kindergarten on almost a daily basis. I should say that I live in Berlin, we maintain a long-distance relationship, and I am currently on a visit to the United States. My husband takes care of the children and works there.
The nation where people loudly protest when the president wants to “interfere” with health insurance, the nation that hates it when anyone interferes with its right to arms, oil and fast-food, hands over its children at the school entrance without resistance, as if it were the border to a foreign country for which it lacks a visa.
By the time I heard about the massacre in Connecticut on Friday, I had already picked Finn up from kindergarten. While he was in his room having his Playmobil knights fend off a dangerous dinosaur attack, I was in the living room stunned as I watched TV at the lowest possible volume.
I take my hat off to the teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School, who after the disaster, led their students out of the school building in such a disciplined manner as if they were on their way to the gym. Now I understand why it was possible.
I will never again complain about the security measures at Finn’s school. As far as I’m concerned, they can turn his kindergarten into Fort Knox – and I take my hat off to the fact that to my son, the school manages to look as homey as Sesame Street.
READ THIS COLUMN IN ITS ENTIRETY IN ENGLISH OR GERMAN, OR READ MORE GLOBAL REACTION TO THE NEWTOWN TRAGEDY, AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.