Mother's Day in Newtown

In a heartbreaking essay, four Sandy Hook mothers vow to turn their "tragedy into a moment of transformation"

By Katie McDonough

Published May 12, 2013 2:20PM (EDT)

  (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

Newtown moms Jackie Barden, Nicole Hockley, Nelba Marquez-Greene and Francine Wheeler each lost a child to the December 14th shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. In a heartbreaking Mother's Day essay, the four mothers reflect on parenting, love, loss and their mission "to celebrate their [children's] lives by turning this tragedy into a moment of transformation":

When Dylan, Daniel, Ana and Ben came into this world, each of us, in our own way, promised to prepare them for life as best we could. Every day, approximately 11,000 new American moms will make that same loving promise as they meet their babies for the first time...

In the wake of their deaths, we made a final promise to Dylan, Daniel, Ana and Ben: to celebrate their lives by turning this tragedy into a moment of transformation. We are determined to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School by advocating common sense solutions -- solutions that address the issues that result in gun violence, including mental health policy, school safety solutions, addressing the isolation in our communities and, yes, gun safety and responsibility...

There have been nearly four thousand gun related deaths since Newtown. Too many mothers are spending too much time talking to their children in heaven instead of across the kitchen table...

We never thought our school, our community or these innocent children would ever face the unspeakable. The more we as parents expand the boundaries of our love beyond our family and to all children, the more likely a tragedy like the one that broke our hearts will never happen again.

You can read the full essay at the Huffington Post.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Gun Control Gun Violence Newtown School Shooting Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting