A year later, the community of Chardon still struggles with the ghastly events of that morning, T.J. Lane, 17 years old, spraying gunfire in the high school cafeteria. At events this week, Chardon remembered the three dead, Demetrius Hewlin, Russell King Jr. and Daniel Parmertor. (Three others were wounded.) So much remains a puzzle about why, even with Lane pleading guilty to murder charges on Tuesday.
What has been heartening to see is the resilience and, yes, bravery of the community, starting with administrators, teachers and others at the school. Gov. John Kasich appropriately recognized their efforts the past year with one of his courage awards at the recent State of the State address.
Chardon has been tugged in two directions. No one wants to leave behind those promising young lives suddenly ended. Hard to shake the chill of that day, the shattering of so much. Yet just as memories of the dead are carried forward, so must the survivors move ahead. In doing so, they fashion the fitting response, affirming life, cherishing its gifts, the wounds remaining yet more about gaining wisdom than a persistent dread.
From now on, Chardon will be part of the national conversation, like Aurora, Newtown and Columbine. The urge is to do the right thing in response, balancing freedoms and restraints. Is there a combination of actions to prevent a repeat of such violence elsewhere? Probably not. But there is the notion of taking every reasonable step in trying to avoid a year like Chardon has endured.