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Public Statements

Newtown, Connecticut Tragedy

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I rise today with a heavy heart to express my deepest sympathy to the families of the 28 people who were murdered last week at Sandy Hook Elementary. These last few days have been immensely painful as our nation has mourned the loss of life and desperately searched for answers that might somehow explain such a senseless act of violence.

Like all Americans, my thoughts and prayers have been and continue to be with the students, teachers, and families. But my heart especially goes out to those mothers and fathers who lost their children. As a mother, I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of their anguish.

The murder of a child is the most heinous of crimes. But the mass murder of 20 children trapped in an elementary school is an act of unspeakable evil. There are simply no words to describe the shock, horror, and grief. There is nothing we can say to undo the horrific events of that day or to numb the wounds of the families who are grieving. The best we can hope for is that our words and prayers might somehow bring them comfort and to show them they are not alone in their sorrow.

At moments like these, the weight of despair falls heavy upon us. But we cannot forget that, even amidst the horror and sadness, there have been remarkable acts of decency. And for that, we have hope.

I think of the brave law enforcement officers and first responders who answered the call to serve and protect that day, just as they do every day. I think of the incredible outpouring of support we have seen from people across the country, most of whom have never met the victims or their families but have come forward anyway with checks, with flowers, with stuffed animals, and messages of sympathy. And of course, I think of those heroic teachers who risked, and in some cases gave their lives to save their students.

We will always remember the names and faces of people like Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, the principal and school psychologist who died trying to disarm and dissuade gunman. They didn't think twice. They did what they knew was right.

And we will always remember 27-year-old Victoria Soto, the teacher who hid her students in closets and cabinets before bravely approaching the gunman and pointing him in the other direction. She had her whole life ahead of her, but she laid it down to save those kids.

These are the stories that keep us going. They remind us that, even in the wake of senseless violence, no individual act of evil can match the overwhelming goodness of our people. We are a resilient and fundamentally decent country, and my hope is that in the coming weeks and months we will find a way to come together to ease the pain of the families and to make some sense out of this tragedy.

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