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Reynolds' column on Newtown shootings lauded

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Winnipeg Free Press columnist Lindor Reynolds' piece on the Newtown, Conn., shooting tragedy is one of the best columns of 2012, says the Daily Beast website.

Reynolds was the only Canadian writer mentioned on a list of writers that include Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie, and Gail Collins of the New York Times.

Reynolds wrote her column ‘Love Wins in Newtown’ after going to Connecticut to cover the funeral of former Winnipegger Ana Márquez-Greene, a six-year-old killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook School.

The Daily Beast, U.S. news and opinion website that merged with Newsweek, calls the column "harrowing and heartening."

"The slaughter of 20 school children in Newtown spurred heartfelt columns and a national debate about gun violence. But members of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists recommended this effort by Canadian Lindor Reynolds on the funeral of six-year-old Ana Márquez-Greene," says the website.

Her piece is one of 12 commended as the best of the year.

"We are delighted that Lindor's moving portrait of Ana's funeral earned this recognition," said Free Press editor Paul Samyn.

"When we sent Lindor on this assignment to Newtown, we told her to find a way to connect readers in our city to the tragedy at Sandy Hook that transfixed the world. Not only did she deliver for our readers, but Lindor's words clearly moved others across the United States watching the extensive media coverage of the shock and sorrow that flowed from that shooting."

"Ana was one of ours. She belonged to our city, to the members of her church family, her friends, to the collective of moms and dads and grandparents of our city. She died in America, in this small, lovely town where residents believed they were out of harm's way.

They were wrong. One of the first billboards you see leaving Hartford's airport directs you to a gun store. Under the circumstances, it's a sucker punch," Reynolds wrote.

"The column was raw, on-the-ground reporting. I wanted to convey the raw emotion in Newtown a week after the killings and a day before Ana Marquez-Greene was buried. There was tremendous sorrow, but also an almost defiant feeling of hope and forgiveness," Reynolds said.

Reynolds has extensive accolades for her prior work, including being a three-time finalist for the Michener Awards, and the winner of the Will Roger Humanitarian Award. She has also been the first place winner of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists on three occasions.

gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

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Updated on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM CST: Adds quotes

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