The New Hope Amish School opens today in Nickel Mines, Pa., just a few hundred yards from the site of the gruesome shooting of 10 schoolgirls on Oct. 2, 2006. U.S. News & World Report Senior Editor Liz Halloran recently spent time in Nickel Mines, reporting on how the Lancaster County community is trying to heal, and has this to tell us about that experience:
"When I visited in late February and again in early March," Halloran says, "people in Bart Township, where tiny Nickel Mines is located, were anticipating two events: The opening of a new Amish schoolhouse not far from the old one, which had been razed 10 days after the shooting, and the Bart Township Fire Company's 43rd annual 'Mud Sale'. The annual sale is the township's social event of the year during which everything from horses and Amish buggies to gazebos and quilts would be auctioned, and shoo-fly pie, corn soup, and Dutch pretzels consumed."
"Photographer Charlie Archambault and I spent the day at the March 3rd auction, which drew record crowds. The Amish, who now own every farm but about half dozen in the township, showed up in force on what turned out to be a beautiful, celebratory day. The opening of the new one-room schoolhouse is yet another step to normalcy, albeit a different one than the people of Bart Township could ever have imagined seven months ago."
The fullt ext of Halloran's story is available here.
Video: A Town Heals.