At the bottom of the hill from the firehouse in Newtown, Conn., across the street from where she has just laid white flowers and lit a candle for the dead of Sandy Hook Elementary School, is Andrea Jaeger, once a star tennis girl. She is here because once again schoolchildren have been slaughtered and she wants to help.
It happened in 1996 in Dunblane, Scotland, 16 children shot dead in a school there. One of those who survived that day was a 9-year-old named Andy Murray who hid under a desk in a headmaster’s study when his school was entered by a killer with a gun. Jaeger, whose life’s work since tennis has involved helping children, flew to Dunblane after that shooting.
She didn’t know how she could help. She just wanted to help. She brought tennis rackets and her great heart and tried to help the children of Andy Murray’s school begin to heal.
“One boy told of hiding under his friend, the friend’s blood dripping on him,” she said on Saturday morning on Riverside Rd. in Newtown, remembering what happened at Dunblane at the entrance to the road leading up to Sandy Hook Elementary. “These little kids in uniforms showed me where they hid. They couldn’t breathe or they would be killed. These kids deserved to grow up to be an adult. That’s not asking too much.”