New Castle News


December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook shooting victims will never be forgotten

NEWTON, Conn. — Chase Kowalski had won a mini-triathlon. Daniel Barden had learned to be polite, fair, thoughtful and articulate, even as he charged into life head-first.

"Daniel was fearless in his pursuit of happiness and life," his family said in a statement. "He earned his ripped jeans and missing two front teeth."

Both boys were just 7 years old. They were among the 20 students whose futures were taken away by a man who was about to kill himself Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

But before he committed suicide, Adam Lanza took time to destroy the potential of 18 other Chase Kowalskis and Daniel Bardens. Lanza also shot down six adults who were helping to shape the lives of those children.

Olivia Engel, 6, loved going to school. She was good at both reading and math. She was good at drawing, and was already learning to play tennis and soccer, and to act, sing and dance.

"Her father said she was a 6-year-old who had a lot to look forward to," said a cousin, John Engel.

It was Olivia who would speak to God before each family meal, saying grace on behalf of her parents and younger brother.

Her future was being an angel in the live nativity at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Friday night.

Instead, her pastor told Reuters, "Now she's an angel up in heaven."

Emilie Parker's blue eyes stand out in a photograph that has been used widely around the world since Friday night.

Behind those eyes was a little girl who was learning Portuguese, according to published reports.

The 6-year-old was teaching her younger sister to read, her father told the Hartford Courant. She had a habit of making cards for friends and relatives when they were down. She left one in her maternal grandfather's casket when he died earlier this year, according to ABC News.

"She just loved taking care of people," her paternal grandfather, Randy Parker told KSL TV in Utah. "If she saw people with their feelings hurt, it was , 'What can I do to help?' She was that kind of child."

Jessica Rekos may be gone at just 6 years of age, but her memory will not fade from this town.

"Every time I think I'm done crying I see or hear something that brings it back up," Jeff Stewart wrote on a Facebook memorial page. "No one will ever forget this."

Ana Marquez-Greene, whose father was a well-known jazz pianist, already shared some of her father's talent.

She can be seen on YouTube singing "Come Thou Almighty King" with her brother.

Where she could have gone in life is a question that will never be answered. Where would so many of these children have gone with their voices, their intelligence, their ability to learn and excel at such a young age?

"He embodied everything that is wholesome and innocent in the world," the Barden family wrote of Daniel Barden. "Our hearts break over losing him and for the many other families suffering loss."

Charlotte Bacon's uncle, John Hagen, told Newsday that Charlotte's mother, JoAnn, bought the 6-year-old a new dress and boots for the holidays.

Charlotte was eager to wear them, and on Friday morning her mother gave in and sent her daughter to school in the outfit.


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