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Here’s What Families Sandy Hook Victims Had to Say 5 Years Later

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Five years ago today, 20 first-graders and six educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtwon, Connecticut. Many are remembering this tragedy on social media by posting their stories, both personal and national. CNN’s Jake Tapper, for one, has been compiling many poignant stories about the victims on his Twitter today — breaking our hearts all over again.

Others have penned powerful responses, illustrating just how much we truly need to find ways to combat violence and rethink our gun laws. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, wrote a piece in The Huffington Post, saying how the state he represents will never be the same, after the tragedy.

Newtown will never be the same. And having been there to witness the day’s events firsthand, I know I will never be the same. My life changed that day. I now wake up every day knowing that my political career will be a failure if I do not change the laws of this nation to meaningfully reduce the chances that something like that will ever happen again.

He also went on to write about how a Sandy Hook mom said the two words he needed to hear:

I will remember the two simple words whispered to me by one Sandy Hook mom earlier this year. As I readied to leave my office one evening, the front desk rang me to say that one of the Sandy Hook parents had dropped by unannounced. Of course, send her in, I said. She walked into my office, and without saying a word, draped her arms around me in a giant, warm bear hug.

“Keep going,” she said quietly to me. She wiped a few tears back, took a few steps backwards, and continued, “That’s all I wanted to say.” Then she left, unable to muster the energy to say anything more.

Meanwhile, Scarlett Lewis, mother of her slain son Jesse Lewis, said, “After Jesse’s death, the best thing that was ever said to me was, ‘There are no words’ ― because there really are no words to describe a loss like that,” said Lewis. “In those moments, I cry and then I make myself a cup of tea, and I double down on my efforts in the Chose Love Movement.”

Choose Love is a non-profit Lewis started in honor of her son. It supports social-emotional learning in classrooms and communities.

Here’s what others had to say about the tragedy, five years on:

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