"We gather here in memory of 20 beautiful children, and six remarkable adults. They lost their lives in a school that could have been any school, in a quiet town full of good and decent people that could be any town in America. Here in Newtown, I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. I can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief, that our world too has been torn apart — that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you. We have pulled our children tight. You must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide. Whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you, to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear. Newtown, you are not alone."The president says that the nation was inspired by the town, and the reactions of the staff of Sandy Hook Elementary.We know there were other teachers who barricaded themselves inside classrooms and kept steady through it all, and reassured their students by saying, 'Wait for the good guys — they're coming. Show me your smile. They responded as we all hope we might respond in such terrifying circumstances: with courage, and with love, giving their lives to protect the children in their care. And we know that good guys came. The first responders who raced to the scene, helping to guide those in harm's way to safety, and comfort those in need, holding at bay their own shock, and their own trauma, because they had a job to do, and others needed them more."
Of the children, the president said they helped one another, "dutifully following instructions in the way that children sometimes do. One child even tried to encourage a grownup by saying, 'I know karate. So it's OK — I'll lead the way out.' As a community, you've inspired us, Newtown. In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you've looked out for each other. You've cared for one another. And you've loved one another. This is how Newtown will be remembered. And with time, and God's grace, that love will see you through.We know we can't do this by ourselves. It comes as a shock... when you realize, no matter how much you love these kids, you can't do it by yourself."
He says the community means "that we're all parents, that they're all our children. This is our first task: caring for our children. It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. That's how, as a society, we will be judged. And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we're meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we're doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm?"
|First responders were greeted with a standing ovation as they were introduced|
|People outside were provided with blankets from the Red Cross|
|President Obama with Dawn Hochsprung's grandaughter|
My mom would be SO proud to see President Obama holding her granddaughter. But not as proud as I am of her.~ Cristina Hassinger, Dawn's daughter wrote on Twitter
twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."
Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA
Courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/pages/RIP-Conneticut-Sandy-Hook-Elementary-School-Shooting-Victims-121412/477944158924225