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Vogt's Notes: School shooting reaches Nisswa family

Gut-wrenching. Senseless. Tragic. Dastardly. Heart-wrenching. Devastating.

These emotional words and many, many more describe the unimaginable shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 27 people, including 20 young children and the shooter, on Friday, Dec. 14.

Is there anyone who didn’t give their children an extra long hug Friday night and offer up prayers for the affected families?

More than once, including when I first heard of the shooting on the radio, tears fell down my cheeks. More tears fell when I heard Irene Hagen of Nisswa talking about her granddaughter, Charlotte Bacon, a 6-year-old first-grade victim, on the 10 p.m. WCCO TV news Sunday night.

Hagen talked about how her granddaughter loved dogs, and how her mother — Hagen’s daughter, JoAnn Bacon — gave in and let Charlotte wear a new pink dress to school Friday, along with white boots and pink bows in her naturally curly red hair that her mother braided and put in pigtails.

“She was being ready to go see Jesus in her new dress,” Hagen said her daughter said.

Hagen told WCCO Charlotte was a sweet, outgoing and energetic little girl.

“These are things that don’t happen to you,” Hagen said, adding she was trying to be strong for her daughter.

She is so right — These are the types of tragedies that we don’t believe can or will happen to us. No one in Newtown, Conn., likely ever imagined something so catastrophic happening there. It was painful to hear about from thousands of miles away, and even more so upon learning of a lakes area connection.

American Airlines paid for 17 Minnesota Hagen family members to travel to Connecticut on Monday for Charlotte’s funeral and family, according to WCCO.

There have been far too many mass shootings across the country in recent years. I’m not sure why this one hit such an emotional nerve. Possibly because the children who were killed were so incredibly young and innocent with such promising lives ahead of them.

Unbelievable. Heart-stopping. Sad. Surreal.

This was a true tragedy.