December 14, 2013 marks the one year anniversary of the horrific Newtown massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT, which left 20 innocent children and 6 educators dead. On this emotional occasion, we remember the precious lives that were lost, and share the ways their spirits live on.
On the first anniversary of the Newtown shootings that rattled the world, we remember the young children, teachers, and families affected by so much loss. The families of the 26 victims of the tragic Dec. 14, 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn., created a website called “My Sandy Hook Family” to both honor those lost and showcase the ways the kids and teachers are a constant living memory.
Sandy Hook Memorial: Remembering Newtown Connecticut’s Victims 1 Year Later
So many of the Newtown victims were just 5- and 6-years-old, with full lives and bright futures ahead of them. Their families personally remember their smiling faces, caring attitudes, and wonderful talents — and are hoping to share those beautiful qualities with others in the form of outreach programs.
Several families have set up their own charities in memories of their loved ones, to honor the things they loved to do. Emilie Parker‘s family started the Art Connection to fund school art programs — Emilie’s passion “It is amazing to witness how Emilie and her story continues to have a powerful impact in people’s lives,” Emilie’s father wrote to the Standard-Examiner. “There were 26 amazing and wonderful people lost that day and we have been so touched by the love and support from people all around the world.”
Chase Kowalski was a pint-sized running enthusiast, so his family set up a triathlon program so other kids would be able to experience the fun — and give his parents a healthy place to channel their emotions. “It would be really easy to just fold up and not participate in life, but we’ve got some great things happening that, you can’t,” Chase’s mother told NBC. “You have to share it and we have to make that vision a reality.”
Similarly, Jack Pinto loved all kinds of sports, so his family started an initiative to make sure underprivileged kids could “get in the game” too!
Daniel Barden‘s family is fueled to make change on the gun violence problem affecting the nation. “I am never, ever, going to stop trying to address the causes on gun violence,” Daniel’s dad told People.
These are just a few stories from the many victims’ legacies. Our thoughts remain with the victims’ families at this difficult time, and we hope they find small comfort in the fact that their family members’ spirit lives on in so many ways.
— Kristine Hope Kowalski