Condemning the Horrific Attacks in Newtown, Connecticut, and Expressing Support and Prayers for All Those Impacted by this Tragedy

Floor Speech

By:  John Larson
Date: Dec. 17, 2012
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Thank you, CHRIS MURPHY.

We just came from a vigil over on the Senate side that Senator Lieberman, Senator Blumenthal, and former Senator Dodd were at, and all of us had the opportunity to be there.

Joe Courtney, when he spoke, spoke of our colleague Chris Murphy and the incredible job that he's done for his district and for our State. When you hear him speak on the floor about quintessential New England and the community he represented for 6 years in Newtown and the little village of Sandy Hook, you understand that this is a man who truly represents the people of his district and this great State.

All of us have been shocked by the events that have transpired. Many things will be said. Dick Blumenthal, Elizabeth Esty, who's the Representative-elect, have been there for the last 4 days. The whole world has looked in on this horrific event. And parents all across this country and all across the world understood implicitly what we all fear--the unspeakable: the parent describing a trip in an automobile from Bridgeport to Newtown, racing to get there to see whether their child was alive, had survived, and the joy when they were able to see their kids; and the complete and utter despair when your child was not one of the kids who came out. And Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal and Elizabeth Esty, our colleagues, were there.

These first responders who came on the scene and prevented the loss of more lives deserve our unending thanks. The great coordination by our State police and local police, everything that transpired, all the volunteers that participated; the teachers, the professionalism that they exhibited, the execution of a drill that they had been through time and again; and, as Rosa talked about, the principal and the teacher who sheltered her children and gave her own life. These are difficult things.

As Chris has so eloquently said, we're seeking answers and know that we must move on. And where do you find the strength? We found the strength in a great leader, in a Governor, Dan Malloy, who's been there all 4 days and beyond.

At the vigil last evening where the President spoke in an ecumenical gathering, he said:

As winter approaches and snow begins to fall, I will always think of these children as precious snowflakes during this winter of events. But I am heartened by the fact that every spring when the flowers bloom, we will think of their precious memory as well.

Our President said that the people of Newtown were inspirational. Indeed, they are.


Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Clio, the muse of history, used to sit above this Chamber. The muse of history's responsibility was to sit there, as you'll see the statue in Statuary Hall, with a book and pen, recording the events of this Chamber. We are in a unique position of responsibility. We have been sent here to perform a duty; and not only the muse of history, but all the world is watching the United States Congress.

We have a responsibility to respond in the most comprehensive way. This is an attack of terrorism. This has happened all too often and all too frequently all across this country. And in such an attack, we would do everything within our power to make sure that no stone was left unturned, to make sure that we provided every answer and every opportunity that we can, as Rosa said, to protect our children. That's why we take an oath of office here. That is our God-given responsibility. We must act, and act now.


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