The firehouse is the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue station and it serves my neighborhood here in Newtown, Connecticut. Yes, that Sandy Hook. And yes to the question that I tend to get next: my son Tain did go to school at Sandy Hook Elementary and he was present in his third grade classroom on the morning of December 14, 2012 when a gunman entered the school and took the lives of twenty-six adults and children including one of Tain’s dearest friends, a first-grader named Ben.
The firehouse is just down the road, perhaps only a few hundred yards from the location of the school. Dickenson Drive is the name of the street and that’s appropriate because it is more like a long driveway than a road, leading only to the small parking lot in front of the school. The firehouse is constructed of red brick and the doors of the bays housing the fire trucks are wide and white. Each year after Thanksgiving my family and I visit the firehouse and choose a tall, bushy evergreen from the inventory of Christmas trees the firemen sell as a fundraiser. We pay more than if we shopped elsewhere because we want to support this essential but all-volunteer service. The only other time I’d been in the firehouse was probably for a field trip when Tain was in preschool.