First Lady Michelle Obama Pens A Letter To Newtown, Connecticut


In an effort to keep this conversation going, I wanted to share a letter written by the First Lady of the United States to Newtown, Connecticut. A week ago today, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children and 6 faculty members. Earlier that day he’d taken his mother’s life, and eventually took his own. As much as we’ve all been responding to this story and sharing different viewpoints and ideas, one of my biggest fears about this tragedy is still that it will all be forgotten by most of us (myself included) as the days progress. Today I was glad to see that moments of silence were being held throughout the country, and that Michelle Obama was also speaking out. Click inside to read her letter, as published in the Hartfourd Courant.

Over the past week, we as Americans have been united in our grief as Newtown has laid to rest so many beautiful, innocent children, along with the heroic educators who worked every day to help them achieve their dreams.

As a mother of two young daughters, my heart aches for you and your families. Like so many Americans, I wish there were something — anything — I could do or say to ease your anguish.

But I know that I cannot begin to imagine the depths of your grief. I know that for many of you, the pain you are enduring right now seems unbearable; and many of you may be asking yourselves, how can we go on — as families and as a community?

But I also know that we have already begun to see the answer to that question in the countless acts of courage, kindness and love here in Newtown and across America.

Over the past week, I have been awed and inspired by Newtown’s heroes: the first responders who risked their lives at a moment’s notice; the educators whose devotion to their students shone brightest in one of our nation’s darkest hours; the children who comforted each other despite their fear; the families coming together to support each other as they grieve.

And I am so proud of the outpouring of love and support that has come from every corner of America: from first responders from neighboring cities rushing to help however they could; from people in Cleveland and Charlotte and Juneau and so many other communities joining together to honor Newtown with their thoughts and prayers; and in living rooms and houses of worship and the halls of our government, where we are beginning to have those difficult conversations about how we can build a safer, more peaceful tomorrow for all our children.

And I want you to know that this is just the beginning. As my husband has said, in the coming weeks, he will use all the powers of his office to engage citizens from across this country to find ways to prevent tragedies like this one. And please know that every minute of every day, we are thinking of you, and praying for you, and holding you and your families in our hearts as you begin the slow and wrenching work of healing and moving forward.

In the months and years ahead, may the memories of those beautiful children and those heroic adults be a blessing for their families, for your community, and for our country, and may God bless you all.

First Lady Michelle ObamaWashington, D.C.


[Source] [Photo Credit: Getty]

  • Krissy

    Beautiful letter.

  • kat :)

    Very eloquent letter. And I agree with you- and honestly feel like I’m already seeing it- that it is going to get forgotten. Until the next horrible tragedy occurs. I don’t know the answer, but I know that something needs to be done

    • Shannon

      kat :) I really do think that if we all keep speaking up and out about this, something can change.

      Also, did you or did you not have your baby?!

  • Karen

    I hear her voice when I read that. :)

    The only thing that makes me think/hope this issue *might* not be forgotten is how emotional Obama was at that first press conference after the Sandy Hook killings. His love for his daughters may motivate him on this in a way he hasn’t been motivated on any other issue. Somehow I feel like he might have a hard time living with himself if after his term ends, another mass murder like this occurs, with more little kids killed, and he didn’t do anything real to prevent it.

    It’s of course really important that we *all* take time to email/call our representatives, especially as the NRA leadership works to galvanize people to its insulting, destructive, head-in-the-sand point of view. We can’t let it control the debate and policies in this country any longer. But I also think/hope that Obama will push more than normal for serious action on this issue.

  • emily

    My hometown is next to Newtown, and we have many family and friends affected and we won’t be forgetting for a looooong time. It’s so tragic. I keep thinking about my 3 cousins who all went to that school but moved away this summer. Their friends were killed and my cousins were in those classrooms. It gives me shudders and fills me with sadness to think about it if they still lived here.

    Shannon – love ya, but it’s Newtown CONNECTICUT. You have Colorado. I understand the confusion b/c CO has seen its own share of tragedy, but wanted to point out the discrepancy in the first paragraph.

    • Shannon

      emily, eeek thank you! Looks like Trent fixed it for me :)

      Thank you for sharing this with us. If some of us know someone who know someone who was in that school, maybe it will help us feel and stay connected to this story.