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Parents Of Slain Children Deliver The Sandy Hook Promise: ‘Things Must Change’

Exactly one month after the tragic mass shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the parents of those lost children held a press conference to deliver a poem, “The Sandy Hook Promise,” and a plan to move forward. Along with the press conference, the parents launched Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit dedicated to fulfilling the promise contained in the poem they read Monday morning, “To do everything in our power to be remembered, not as the town filled with grief and victims; but as the place where real change began.”

Nicole Hockley, mother of the late Dylan Hockley, who was six years old at the time of his death, began the press conference speaking about the heartbreaking grief she continues to deal with. “At times, it feels like only yesterday, and at other times it feels as if many years have passed,” she said, adding “I still find myself reaching for Dylan’s hand to walk through a car parking lot.”

Mrs. Hockley spoke of the ways in which the Newtown community pulled together in the aftermath of the tragedy, along with the wider community of families who have been touched by this kind of horror, from places like Aurora, Columbine, and Virginia Tech. “I do not want to be someone sharing my experience and consoling another parent next time,” she said. “I do not want there to be a next time.”

Nelba Márquez-Greene, mother of Ana Márquez-Greene, who was taken from her mother at the age of six, also spoke, summing up the unimaginable shock and grief of that day in a sentence. “On Friday, December 14, I put two children on the bus,” she said, “and only one came home.”

Mrs. Hockley and Mrs. Márquez-Greene each pledged to honor their children by fulfilling The Sandy Hook Promise:

Our hearts are broken;
Our spirit is not.

And it is with this knowledge
that we are able to move forward
with purpose…and strength…

This is a Promise

To support our own
our families, our neighbors, our teachers, our community
with dedication and love
as well as the material and financial needs they will require
in the days ahead.

This is a Promise

To truly honor the lives lost
by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation.

This is a Promise

To be open to all possibilities.
There is no agenda other than to make
our community and our nation a safer, better place.

This is a Promise

To have the conversations on ALL the issues
Conversations where listening is as important as speaking.
Conversations where even those with the most opposing views
can debate in good will.

This is a Promise

To turn the conversation into actions.
Things must change.
This is the time.

This is a Promise

We make to our precious children.
Because each child, every human life is filled with promise,
and though we continue to be filled with unbearable pain
we choose love, belief, and hope
instead of anger.

This is a Promise

To do everything in our power to be remembered
not as the town filled with grief and victims;
but as the place where
real change began.

Our hearts are broken;
Our spirit is not.

This is our promise.

The Sandy Hook

You can find out more about The Sandy Hook Promise, and how to help, by clicking here.

Here’s video of the press conference, from CNN:

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