I wrote this last night and wanted to share with your inspiring community.
Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeline, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin, and Allison...what beautiful names. I never had the chance to see your faces or hear your voices, but that hasn't stopped me from thinking about you these past few days. You're looking down on us trying to understand what has happened and why it happened, just as we're looking up to GOD, asking him for strength and understanding ourselves. I don't know what GOD has told you yet, but I do know that you're in a place of love – a place that only a young mind like yours could really understand.
You need to know that what happened to you wasn't your fault. You need to know that Ms. Rachel, Ms. Dawn, Ms. Anne Marie, Ms. Lauren, Ms. Mary and Ms. Victoria did everything they could to keep you safe and that they loved you so much they are there with you now. You need to know that your mom, dad and millions of other people down here would've done everything they could have to have you with us now. You need to know that when you look down and see someone crying when they're thinking about you, it's because they love you and miss you so very much. And, you need to know that the world will never be the same.
The world will remember 20 innocent children who went to school to become fire fighters, astronauts, ballerina's and super hero's – children who needed help with their list for Santa and wanted to finish their painting for mom and dad. The world will mourn and be angry that GOD called you home so young and in such a horrible way. The world will celebrate the years it got to share with you...the memories your families will cherish and the legacy of innocence, love and life's fragility you leave.
In simply being the beautiful people GOD created you to be, you taught us so much...and as we began to hear that GOD was taking you home, we could hear you tell us that we had to do better. I want all of you to know that in my own confusion and mourning and tears, I heard you and I am going to do what I can to make humanity better for you. You deserve that. Your friends deserve that. Your families deserve that. Our future deserves that.
No, I never knew you – but I promise, I will never forget you. I see your names and your faces and I can't help but look over at my little man...the little man you're now helping me protect. He is going to grow up chasing the same dreams you never had the chance to realize. When he's old enough to understand, he will know your story, his garden of dreams will be yours. Every time we will walk through his garden, we will be remembering you.
While I don't know if I'll ever understand December 14th 2012, I do understand what you're telling us from Heaven. We need to do better. I think the country and the world understands, too. We're going to listen to YOU that's what YOU deserve and listening to YOU is what we NEED.
Protect us from Heaven, ask GOD to ease the pain on those that miss and love you so much, and, help us listen to YOU. You were only children, but you changed the world.
Ms. Rachel, Ms. Dawn, Ms. Anne Marie, Ms. Lauren, Ms. Mary and Ms. Victoria – you're not forgotten. As educators you never get the credit you deserve. The countless and unseen hours you put into the lives of so many children over the years is inspiring. You chose to care for the future of the world, to give them the tools they needed to be the best they could possibly be. As we mourn your loss, we will never forget you chose to put yourself in harms way to allow the children you love to grow to be our future. You've shown us what “better” is and can be. I can only hope and pray that your sacrifice is not in vein. I hope we can do better, for them and for you. You deserve that.
I believe you're all with GOD now, he needed you there more than we needed you here. Watch over us, guide us, and cover us with love.