12/17/2012 08:06 pm ET

Sandy Hook Elementary Alum Eddie Small: Focus On Newtown's Response To Tragedy (VIDEO)

Eddie Small, a former resident of Newtown, Conn., and alumnus of Sandy Hook Elementary School said Monday that he hopes his hometown can be remembered for its response to the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, rather than for the shooting itself.

"It's such a tragic -- and it's such an intense event -- that it can't help but overwhelm almost everything else that's happened here," Small told HuffPost Live hosts Jacob Soboroff and Alyona Minkovski. "So I guess what I'd like people to focus on is the response that the town had to the shooting."

"If they can just focus more on all the goodness they saw and the people coming together after this horrific tragedy, as opposed to just the tragedy itself, I'd really like that. I don't know if that will happen or not, but it would make me pretty happy," he added.

Small also blogged for The Atlantic about what the tragedy has done to Newtown in a post titled "Did This Really Happen in My Elementary School?":

I've always had two stock answers for people whenever they ask me about Newtown. One is, "It's from the half of Connecticut that wants to be New York City." The other is, "We invented Scrabble. After that, nothing really happened." It's a town of about 27,000 people where things don't stay open past 10 p.m. and a boy digging a big hole is a story worthy of the local paper's front page. It's also where I grew up and made my first friends and got my first job and learned about 80 percent of what I know today.

And now, none of that matters.

Watch the Full Interview with Eddie Small on HuffPost Live.