Democratic Leader Nancy joined the family and friends of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and delivered remarks at a press conference today marking the 6-month anniversary of the tragedy. Below are her remarks:
"Thank you very much Mr. Leader. Thank you Mr. Leader for your generous introduction, but really more importantly, for your very strong words of commitment to making sure that we honor our oath of office to protect and defend the American people and our Constitution. Your strong words, your determination are ones that we in the House, and the leadership of Congressman Mike Thompson, of Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty in whose district Newtown, the Newtown tragedy occurred, and my colleagues, other colleagues who are here, and those from the Senate whom we will be hearing from know that what you said is music to our ears, very, very sad music that this should be necessary.
"It is really a humbling experience to be here with some of the families of Newtown. The Soto family and how eloquently and beautifully they spoke about the tragedy and the determination to go forward. To be here with the father of Lauren Rousseau -- her mother gave me her picture yesterday and on it, it says: "In her memory please be a persuasive voice for peace on earth.' That peace on earth has to begin with us, in our hearts, and in our communities.
"And so I thank the families of Newtown for turning your grief into action. The grief is still there, but the action is essential. Your unimaginable loss, turning that into unsurpassed determination to carry on. Yesterday, many of the families of Newtown met with Democratic and Republican leaders but their agenda was non-partisan. It wasn't -- we had an opportunity to hear their commitment to the cause and as Senator, Leader Reid has said: "We're not backing down, this is not over. In many ways we've begun another phase of this fight.'
"Today, by reading the names of 5,000 victims of gun violence since the Newtown tragedy, by forming a human "ribbon of remembrance,' these families and their supporters are sending a clear message: let's honor the memories of every victim by ensuring no other family is forced to endure such a terrible tragedy. For six months, we've talked about a response to Newtown, tomorrow being the sixth month anniversary. Now we must act upon our promises. We must take inspiration from the families. We must heed the moving words of the Sandy Hook promise: "Our hearts are broken, our spirit is not.' We must hold our most basic responsibilities, Members of Congress, to protect and defend. We must pass legislation in the House and in the Senate for gun violence prevention, most notably now in the form of the gun, of the background checks. It's something that will have a tremendous effect on safety. To protect and defend, that is what the Newtown families are asking of us; that's what we must do in Congress.
"And that is why I am pleased to present to you a champion for this cause: Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut."