For “Blossom” star Jenna Von Oy, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting hit especially close to home.
The 35-year-old actress and mom grew up in Newtown, Conn., and blogged for People magazine about how Friday’s massacre affected her in a “profoundly personal way.”
“I am fiercely proud to say I was born and raised in Newtown. It is where I was brought home from the hospital, attended my first day of kindergarten, learned to ride my bike and climbed my first tree,” she wrote.
“I graduated from Newtown High School, got married two years ago in a bed and breakfast on its Main Street, and recently had my daughter christened at St. Rose, where the vigil was held Friday evening. Newtown is the foundation of my history and it holds a very special place in my heart.”
“I hope my intent isn’t misunderstood here; this is not about me,” she added. “This is about a peaceful, beautiful, wonderful place I’ve called home since my childhood; I am feeling very protective of it after Friday’s crisis. This is about the people who are left to pick up the pieces after an unfathomable hardship.”
Von Oy paid special tribute to the parents of her hometown.
“I share the overwhelming grief of the families affected by this tragedy,” she wrote. “As a parent, I don’t know how to make sense of it, and I am hugging my daughter that much tighter tonight because of it. No parent should ever have to experience a loss such as this one. It is unspeakable, and there is nothing fair about it.”
She urged people to think about Newtown — a “quintessentially quaint New England town” that “resembles a Norman Rockwell painting” — as more than just the site of unspeakable tragedy.
“I know, with absolute certainty, the residents of Newtown will rise up with love and strength in the face of their suffering,” she wrote. “When you think of my hometown, I hope you’ll think beyond this moment in its history.”