The names of all 26 victims lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, have now been officially released, and last night, Robbie Parker, whose six-year-old daughter, Emilie, was one of the young souls lost in the tragedy, bravely released a powerful, truly heart-crushing statement to the press paying tribute to his child.
However, what truly speaks to this man's humanity - in the purest sense of the word - here is that despite the real-life nightmare that he is currently enduring, he still manages to fight back the tears and reach out to all of the other suffering families attempting to pick up the pieces of their own shattered lives and offer them his support and condolences…including those related to suspected shooter Adam Lanza.
Please watch this incredible testament to true compassion and empathy (above).
We sincerely hope that everyone out there struggling to make sense of this all while fighting outrage, despair, and looking to point the finger of blame can manage to dig past all of these justifiable emotions and learn from his example.
There is no argument from us that there are policies and laws in this country that simply MUST change to prevent these kinds of tragedies in the future, but we think that if we TRULY want to create a world where our children won't have to grow up fearing for their lives even in places that SHOULD be safe, like the classroom, we must look inside of ourselves and seriously reflect on what's REALLY important in life, and how we can put aside our differences with one another and work together to help everyone do the same.
As Robbie says, that's what his child would have wanted, and we owe it to her - and all of the other young souls taken from their loved ones Friday - to do just that.
May they R.I.P.
Tags: adam lanza, daughter, deceased, devastating, emilie parker, father, r.i.p., robbie parker, sandy hook elementary school, shooting, speech, statement, victims