Following are comments from the Saturday, Dec. 16 news conference by Governor Dannel P. Malloy and statements released by State Senator John McKinney and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the massacre of 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, which has shocked and saddened the entire world.
Governor Malloy said:
“Yesterday an unspeakable tragedy occurred in the community of Newtown. 20 beautiful children and 7 wonderful adults lost their lives.
All of Connecticut’s people – indeed the people of the world – weep for the immeasurable losses suffered by the families and loved ones of these victims.
Though we could all try, when something as senseless as this occurs, there’s precious little anyone can say to the families of the victims that will lessen the horror and sense of loss they feel. We could say we feel their pain, but the truth is we can’t.
When tragedies like this occur, people often look for answers, an explanation of how this could have occurred. But the sad truth is, there are no answers. No good ones, anyway.
We have all seen tragedies like this play out in other states and countries. Each time, we wondered how something so horrific could occur, and we thanked God that it didn’t happen here in Connecticut. But now it has.
So what can we do? As was no doubt the case last night, we can hug someone we love a little tighter. As has been happening since yesterday, we can show and share with each other the grief we feel for the children and adults who were killed, and for their families and loved ones. We can speak about what’s really important, and what can wait for another day.
There will be time soon for a discussion of the public policy issues surrounding yesterday’s events, but what’s important right now is this: Love, courage, and compassion.
Love, as it has poured in from around the world.
Courage, as was demonstrated by the teachers and other adults in the school building, whose actions no doubt saved lives.
Courage on display, as it always is, by all our first responders.
Compassion, as shown by people around Connecticut who’ve arrived in Newtown wanting only to help.
Too often, we focus on what divides us as people, instead of what binds us as human beings. What we saw yesterday were those bonds, that sense of community.
In the coming days, we will rely upon that which we have been taught and that which we inherently believe: That there is faith for a reason, and that faith is God’s gift to all of us.
Those educators, and those innocent little boys and girls were taken from their families far too soon. Let us all hope and pray those children are now in a place where that innocence will forever be protected.
May God bless you, may God bless those 27 people, may God bless their families and friends, and may the pain their loved ones feel be someday absorbed by the love of mankind.”
State Senator John McKinney (R-Fairfield) represents Newtown and, along with Governor Malloy, met with several parents and family members of the murdered victims on the day of the shooting. He released the following statement:
“As a parent, I can barely begin to comprehend this unspeakable tragedy. I doubt I ever will. Today and in the days and weeks ahead, we need to be an extended family for all of the victims. We need to help our children and students cope, and recover, and feel safe again. We need to grieve and pray, and we need to help our neighbors through this.”
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also commented on the shooting:
“I am deeply saddened by the horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this senseless tragedy, especially the families and loved ones of those killed or injured. As federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies continue to respond to this tragic event, the Department of Homeland Security will provide any support necessary in the ongoing investigation.”