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A Word from the President

December 20, 2012

Thoughts and Prayers for the Families in
Newtown, CT

Dennis W. Felty
Dennis W. Felty
President, KHS

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families that are in the process of burying their little ones this week, as well as other family members that lost their lives at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. None of us can imagine the pain and anguish families are encountering. It is something that is impossible to wrap your arms around.

The images and stories of Sandy Hook hearken to the murder of 340 children and teachers in Beslan School #1 in the North Caucasus of Russia in September 2004. Many of Keystone's postvention team members became personally involved with the people of Beslan within weeks of the attack. We continue our work in Beslan today and, even though 8 years have passed, the family members, survivors, first responders and the community at large still bear the trauma of that horrific event. We know that the first responders to the Sandy Hook school will experience the trauma of this event for the remainder of their lives. Many of the young psychologists and psychiatrists from Beslan spent time here in Harrisburg and that time was an important part of their own healing.

We have offered to make our postvention teams available to the people of Newtown and to share our experience in Beslan in support of the first responders and the community at large.

In Beslan, we learned that the wounding caused by such events is both deep and enduring and touches the lives of everyone. The challenge that confronts all of us is to come to some personal reconciliation about the meaning of such events and their role in the larger human experience.


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