A grieving town braced itself today to bury the first two of the 20 littlest victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman. The first funerals today were for 6-year-olds: Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner.
Pinto was a New York Giants fan. Wide receiver Victor Cruz dedicated his recent game to the child and called his family Saturday night.
Dean Pinto asked that State Police share this photograph of Jack.
Ana Marquez-Greene’s family has released the following statement:
“It is with immeasurable grief and heavy-heartedness that we mourn the loss of our precious angel, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene. She was taken from us far too soon in the horrific massacre enacted upon Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning, Dec. 14, 2012. She was 6 1/2 years old.
In her short life, Ana strengthened us with her loving, generous, joyful spirit. She routinely committed selfless acts of kindness: every drawing or craft project she began was envisioned not for her own enjoyment, but as a gift for another. She often left sweet notes that read, “I love you Mom and Dad,” under our bedroom pillow – not on special occasions, but, rather, on ordinary days. She would not allow me to kiss her goodbye. Instead, when I bent down to kiss her, she would take a step backwards, poke out her lips and wait for me to lower my cheek – she made it clear that she wanted to do the kissing.
Ana’s love for singing was evident before she was even able to talk. In a musical family, her gift for melody, pitch and rhythm stood out remarkably. And she never walked anywhere – her mode of transportation was dance. She danced from room to room and place to place. She danced to all the music she heard, whether in the air or in her head. Ana loved her God, loved to read the Bible and loved to sing and dance as acts of worship.
They have asked: “Share this far and wide. Let the world know the victims - not the shooter.”
We ask that you pray for the legions of people who are left behind to cherish memories of her. We also ask that you, like Ana, commit selfless acts of kindness to all those around you. Maybe, in some way, through love, similar senseless acts of violence could be prevented." In lieu of gifts and flowers, the family has established a scholarship in Ana’s name at Western Connecticut State University’s Department of Music.
Charlotte Bacon's family released this statement through Police.
"Charlotte Helen Bacon is the beloved daughter of Joel and JoAnn Bacon, and the sister of Guy Bacon. Charolette was an extraordinarily gifted six year old who filled her family each day with joy and love. The family will forever remember her beautiful smile, her energy for life, and the unique way she expressed her individuality usually with the color pink. Charolette never met and animal she didn’t love, and since the age of two wanted to be a Veterinarian. She also enjoyed practicing Tae Kwon Do weekly with her Dad and brother where she relished kicking and throwing punches!
Charolette has left a place in her entire extended family’s hearts that will never be replaced. The family is profoundly grateful for the thoughts and prayers of the many friends around the world who expressed their sympathies. They trust in the depths of God’s grace, and with confidence, know that Charolette rests in God’s arms."
"We want to give sincere thanks and appreciation to the emergency services and first responders who helped everyone on Friday, December 14. It was an impossible day for us, but even in our grief we cannot comprehend what other people may have experienced.
The support of our beautiful community and from family, friends and people around the world has been overwhelming and we are humbled. We feel the love and comfort that people are sending and this gives our family strength. We thank everyone for their support, which we will continue to need as we begin this long journey of healing.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the other families who have also been affected by this tragedy. We are forever bound together and hope we can support and find solace with each other.Sandy Hook and Newtown have warmly welcomed us since we moved here two years ago from England. We specifically chose Sandy Hook for the community and the elementary school. We do not and shall never regret this choice. Our boys have flourished here and our family’s happiness has been limitless.
We cannot speak highly enough of Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, exceptional women who knew both our children and who specifically helped us navigate Dylan’s special education needs. Dylan’s teacher, Vicki Soto, was warm and funny and Dylan loved her dearly. We take great comfort in knowing that Dylan was not alone when he died, but was wrapped in the arms of his amazing aide, Anne Marie Murphy. Dylan loved Mrs. Murphy so much and pointed at her picture on our refrigerator every day. Though our hearts break for Dylan, they are also filled with love for these and the other beautiful women who all selflessly died trying to save our children.
Everyone who met Dylan fell in love with him. His beaming smile would light up any room and his laugh was the sweetest music. He loved to cuddle, play tag every morning at the bus stop with our neighbors, bounce on the trampoline, play computer games, watch movies, the color purple, seeing the moon and eating his favorite foods, especially chocolate. He was learning to read and was so proud when he read us a new book every day. He adored his big brother Jake, his best friend and role model.
There are no words that can express our feeling of loss. We will always be a family of four, as though Dylan is no longer physically with us, he is forever in our hearts and minds. We love you Mister D, our special gorgeous angel.
This is the statement From the Gay Family
On Friday, December 14, 2012, our beautiful daughter, Josephine Grace Gay, was killed in an unimaginable tragedy at her elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Joey, many of her friends, teachers, and school staff members were taken from our loving community. Joey turned 7 three days prior to this tragedy and was looking forward to celebrating at her birthday party with many of these friends the next day.
Although our family is devastated, we are deeply comforted in the knowledge that she is no longer scared or hurting and rests in the arms of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is through His sufficient grace that we are able to get through this. Our innocent, trusting little girl stared into the face of unimaginable evil and overcame it in Christ. She was not alone in her courage.
Our small, close-knit community acted instantly. First responders from our town and those surrounding quickly removed surviving children and staff members from the scene. Connecticut state troopers have tended to our families around the clock, surrounding us with protection and compassion. Neighbors, religious communities, townspeople, and professionals are providing the care and love that we are so in need of now. We see this movement grow daily with acts of love and kindness pouring in from around the country and the world. We see how evil is defeated.
Since Joey's passing, we have received many media requests for our story and for pictures of our daughter. Although we are protecting our family’s privacy during this time of healing, we believe it is important to share some of Joey's story. It will help us if others know what a special person she was and how she inspired everyone she met.
Joey was autistic and severely apraxic. She could not speak, yet she touched the lives of so many around her: teachers, therapists, friends, neighbors, all loved and cherished her. Joey was social and affectionate; she smiled, she loved hugs, and she even had a wonderful sense of humor. Her spirit was indomitable. She participated in rigorous therapy and treatment on a daily basis without complaint. She loved to play with her Barbie dolls, iPad, and computer, swim, swing, and be anywhere her sisters were.
Josephine loved the color purple. Born in Maryland, she grew up in a family of Ravens fans and developed an affinity for all things purple. She rarely left the house without wearing something purple. After her passing, many friends who visited wore purple clothing to honor her. On Saturday a family friend tied purple balloons on the mailboxes on our street, and on Sunday the neighborhood children and her sisters and cousins released purple balloons with written messages of love to her in heaven.
We will not let this tragedy define her life. Instead, we will honor her inspiring and generous spirit. We have established Joey’s Fund in her name through the Doug Flutie, Jr.
Foundation for Autism. The proceeds of this fund will help families raising autistic children. It’s our way of dealing with this pain and never letting go of her love.
Many people have reached out to us asking to provide help or support. We ask that, if you are able, please contribute to Joey's Fund, and if you are so inclined, please wear purple on Saturday.