“They are committing the greatest indignity human beings can inflict on one another: telling people who have suffered excruciating pain and loss that their pain and loss were illusions. (v)”
― Elie Wiesel, Night
Spring is the season of pictures and celebrations, the time when, as parents, we are helping our children get ready for summer camp or hiding tears of joy in preparation for high school or college graduation. We’re releasing them into the next exciting and hopeful phase of their lives. The air is abuzz with the sense of tomorrow, with the belief that now is forever.
But with all the pain and trials that come with parenthood, there is also profound joy. It’s the same joy we all knew the moment we first held our children as infants. It’s the same piercing love that keeps our hearts ever-anxious for their well being. Life is the gift we have given to our children, and it is the gift they have given back to us. We’ve brought them into the world, witnessed their first breaths. We never expect the living to part from us. But that is the true horror of a tragedy – that it snuffs out life in its prime.
For the parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech, or even two decades ago in the Oklahoma City bombing, spring in America looks starkly different. It’s a reminder of loss, a collection of memories mixed with moments that will never be experienced. It’s a time to hunker down while others publicly rejoice. And while this is difficult enough, there are those who actually aim to pour fresh salt into the wounds that never fully heal.
Like Holocaust naysayers, Truthers and Hoaxers, latch onto the victims of high profile tragedies, and their family members, and through the vast power of the internet, accuse parents of being liars, fakes, actors. They attack living victims and call them “government conspirators.” They insist that children were never murdered at an elementary school in a sleepy town in southern Connecticut, that it was all an elaborate hoax to divert American eyes away from the “real tragedy” – gun control and the loss of civil liberties. For them, the sadness is never that a father has lost a son, or that a mother will never hold her daughter’s hand to calm her wedding day nerves. Their thought process is skewed, like the slanted vision of those who insist that the Nazis may have had work camps, but death camps never existed. And they harass the victims through emails, threatening phone calls, elaborately abusive websites. Their cruelty and inhumanity have no bounds.
Hoaxers blame their own misfortune on those they’ve never met. They’ve never learned to channel their own grief into something constructive. They don’t rebuild or renew. They tear down and destroy.
Ironically, a Hoaxer thinks life is unfair and there’s no one who can be trusted, but it’s the victims – who have truly experienced the most horrendous and greatest of losses. These are the ones that Hoaxers harass, uploading their images on the internet, insisting that some of them never even existed in the first place, and that their loss and emotional torment is a fiction.
The twisted lies of the Gun Truther create a merry-go-round of grief for family members who already have a lifetime of loss to revisit each spring, and this must be stopped. This is why the Honr Network exists, to shut this evil activity down. You can help us do just that. You can help the victims get off the never ending fight to heal from their grief by donating your own expertise and time, and standing with the victims by Standing with HONR.
– HONR Network