Sandy Hook victims’ families issue statement as Dec. 14 nears

With the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School approaching on Dec. 14, the 26 families have issued a joint statement.

The statement was read during a Dec. 9 event at a private residence in Newtown, with representatives of 15 families in attendance.

The family members thanked the public for all their support and suggested people could mark the anniversary by performing an act of kindness or helping a community organization in or near their hometown.

“In this way, we hope that some small measure of good may be returned to the world,” they said.

The family members said they plan to light a candle for their lost loved one on Dec. 13, the last night spent with their loved one.

‘Forever changed our lives’

Following is the statement issued by the 26 families:

“December 14, 2012 forever and unalterably changed our lives. Since that day, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness, love, prayers and generosity received from the entire world. To simply say thank you is not enough to express our sincere gratitude.

In the midst of our grief we have come to realize that we want our loved ones to be remembered for the lives they lived and how they touched our hearts. We have been uplifted by the support of so many people and we would like to keep that spirit of unity and love alive in all we do to remember those we so dearly miss.

It is with this in mind that we have created the website. This website is intended to serve as a singular place of sharing, communication and contact with the families of those who lost their lives that day. allows us the opportunity to honor those taken from us so violently.

We ask that you understand that each of us — each family — is unique in our own experiences following this tragedy and we each have our own voice and perspective. By creating this website, we hope to offer an opportunity to communicate with our families and honor our loved ones, while at the same time respecting each family’s individual journey and unique experiences.

“On the one-year mark of that horrific day, we know that many people across the country will be thinking of the children and educators so tragically taken from us, and wondering how to help.

We ask that you consider performing an act of kindness or volunteering with a charitable organization in your local community. In this way, we hope that some small measure of good may be returned to the world.

“If you would like to learn more about how we have chosen to honor our loved ones, please visit”

Family members at event

Following are the family members who were in attendance on Dec. 9:

JoAnn Bacon (candle for Charlotte Bacon)

— Joel Bacon

Richard Rekos (candle for Jessica Rekos)

— Krista Rekos

Scarlett Lewis (candle for Jessie McCord Lewis)

— Neil Heslin

Robbie Parker (candle for Emilie Parker)

— Alyssa Parker

Erica Lafferty (candle for Dawn Hochsprung)

— George Hochsprung

Carlee Soto (candle for Victoria Soto)

Tricia Pinto (candle for Jack Pinto)

Lynn McDonnell (candle for Grace McDonnell)

Jennifer Hensel (candle for Avielle Richman)

Jimmy Greene (candle for Ana Márquez-Greene)

— Nelba Márquez-Greene (candle for Ana Márquez-Greene)

Jackie Barden (candle for Daniel Barden)

Gilles Rousseau (candle for Lauren Rousseau)

— Joyce Rousseau

Rebecca Kowalski (candle for Chase Kowalski)

David Wheeler (candle for Ben Wheeler)

— Francine Wheeler

— Mark Mattioli

— Cindy Mattioli

On Dec. 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, 20 first-grade students and six educators were killed by a lone gunman, who then committed suicide at the scene.