December 17th, 2012
02:14 AM ET

The lives cut short in school shooting

Anderson Cooper reflects on the lives of children and educators tragically killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

We will remember:

Charlotte Bacon, 6, Daniel Barden, 7, Olivia Engel, 6, Josephine Gay, 7, Ana Marquez-Greene, 6, Dylan Hockley, 6, Madeline Hsu, 6, Catherine Hubbard, 6, Chase Kowalski, 7, Jesse Lewis, 6, James Mattioli, 6, Grace McDonnell, 7, Emilie Parker, 6, Jack Pinto, 6, Noah Pozner, 6, Caroline Previdi, 6, Jessica Rekos, 6, Avielle Richman, 6, Benjamin Wheeler, 6, Allison Wyatt, 6, Rachel Davino, 29, Dawn Hochsprung, 47, Anne Marie Murphy, 52, Lauren Rousseau, 30, Mary Sherlach, 56, Victoria Soto, 27.

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Ava

    I keep asking my self if I am from Jamaica and I don't know these little angels and the amazing adults and I am hurting so much (can't stop crying) how on earth are their families coping? How?

    December 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  2. Marion

    Thank you for this beautiful Tribute to them! I will never forget their lives. God bless you!

    December 20, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  3. diana

    It is pretty sad that people have to put negative messages about the NEWTON SHOOTINGS, stories of the victims should not be forgotten everyone should continue to hear about it, it is important. ANDERSON COOPER and staff are doing a wonderful job, I will not forget and no one else should. THE PARENTS of the shooter is at fault for not getting help to the son quicker, and yes the mother of the shooter is a victim, but, still knew what her son was like and did nothing.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  4. jA

    Not one of these children over 7 yet I'm pretty sure I will never forget about them, long as I live...

    December 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  5. Amitha Abeynaike

    Mr.Anderson you are doing a surperb job for the New Town victims families, by being with them at their the terrible grief, please continue the good work, you will be blessed. We are also upholding these families in their grief. Bless these precious souls.

    December 19, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  6. Ron

    I am as disturbed by the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy as anyone else. But is it necessary for CNN to broadcast the story 24/7? Surely, there is other news you could report. Also, have you considered that your extensive coverage of the tragedy serves as an incentive for the next mentally-ill person to commit a copycat crime? Your coverage is just too much for me. I will stop watching CNN until you begin to report other events.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Rich

      I stopped watching on the second day. Your network seems to make an obsession and your reporters a competition out of these tradgic events. It is very disturbing to watch, and supercedes the facts of the story. The inaccuracies that you have reported completely and permenently distorted the facts in the minds of millions of viewers. If you do not know the facts, then you should say nothing. It is not your job to create the news. It is your job to report the facts. Unforgiveable and unprofessional.

      December 19, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • Beth

      I applaud the coverage. It's difficult to watch, but I feel exactly as I did on 9/11. Newtown doesn't get to turn the channel. New York didn't get to turn the channel. Why should the rest of us have it so easy. This could have happened anywhere. We need to act and FEEL as if it did. Just because the luck of the draw allowed my life to go on unchanged, doesn't mean the impact and importance of these events shouldn't be absorbed and pondered a LOt....pondered to the point wherin I'm so deeply touched I'm compelled to make my own small improvement in the quality of my human existance. All citizens owe it to these lost ones' memories in such tragic events create good following evil. The creation of new charities; new laws; new security practices; even simply new Resolutions to improve on a particular virtue within one's own life. I won't allow my daily tears to be eased by simply turning the channel. Even completely on the other side of the U.S., with no connection to any family in either event, I will foster some kind of good for the sake of those dead who can't foster it on their own anymore.

      December 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  7. Janine

    While our hearts are grieving for the children, families, and staff of this devastating tragedy in Newtown, CT; I am angry with the news media, politicians, and fellow Americans for denying Nancy Lanza as a victim and excluding her from the many memorials. She was a mother who did not choose to raise a child to commit such unspeakable acts of violence and did not choose to be murdered at the hands of the child she raised, nurtured, and loved. Please, Cooper & fellow Americans, do something to make this right as Nancy is also a victim and should be acknowledged!

    December 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Beth

      You are right, and wrong about Adam's mother, Nancy. Her mistake – which had she not died, would expose her to possible criminal prosecution – was not locking up her weaponry.....................Especially, if she knew she had a troubled/special needs child.

      December 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  8. Tracy

    I truly hope that all the news media will give equal coverage of EVERY CHILD who has a funeral serv.today.We lost 20 Beautiful children and we all want to hear about every one of them,not just a few,but ALL!! I know there are still 2 of the children who's parent have chose not to release there pictures yet and that is uderstandalble,but we still want to hear the media talk about EVERY child in equal coverage.

    December 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  9. Ryco

    You have the power that many people could never have. You have the power and the voice to expose drug companies and their anti-depressants. The common two factors in these shootings are Number 1-Guns and Number 2- antidrepressants. We all hear how bad guns are and how there should be limitations on what you can own. But its ok for a person to be prescriped multiple drugs from a doctor. Over the past two decades research how much these drugs have increased and see where they coincide with mass shootings. The problem with prescription drugs is, there is way to much money and power wrapped up in them. I am not some gun toting maniac but owing guns should not be the only thing being attacked!

    December 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  10. Dan

    I have been in the United States military for over 27 years. I very much love my country and have put my life on the line in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan defending the principles and values of America and the freedoms we as Americans enjoy. It saddens me that as I plan my retirement I look at living in another country. This decision is based on many factors but the one that stands out most is the safety of my family and the ability of anyone to get a firearm in the U.S. Our society hides behind the 2nd amendment and the "right to bear arms". But isn't it a basic human right to live without fear, to be able to send your babies to school, or to the mall, or to a movie and not have to worry about the unstable, psychotic of the week who got their hands on a semi-automatic gun and decides to randomly kill. When will our elected official really say enough is enough? When will the NRA stand up and say that we truly do need boundaries and something has to change?
    Our forefathers, when writing the 2nd amendment could not have conceived that we would one day have auto and semi-auto weapons. Having said that it is also inconceivable that they would have ever hide behind this same legislation if these weapons were being used by so many to kill innocent individuals.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  11. Linda P

    Last night, NBCs The Voice had a beautiful tribute to the teachers and children of this terrible event. Please check it out on You Tube. Mr. Cooper, I don't know if networks share programming but this tribute rendition of Leonard Cohens Halleluj
    ah seems as if it should belong to the country and the world. And you are just the person I would love to see bring it to everyones attention. I was so moved by it. I know you would be too.

    December 18, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  12. emanuel guerrero

    Hey Anderson, i dont cry alot but tonight when you mentioned the little soul named GRACE and then played amazing Grace as a tribute to all of those little souls lost, any real man will shed a tear...............:(

    December 18, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  13. Maria McKelvey

    March 1, 2012, I retired after serving 33 years as a teacher and administrator in the public schools of West Virginia. Three of those years I was a first grade teacher. The death of Victoria Soto really affected me, and I have been grieving for her. I know what she did in the last few minutes of her life. I know what the children did. It is very hard for me to get past that mental image. I think about all the teachers out there in our schools and the discussions they had today among themselves and with their students. I can only hope our national and international grief can bring action.

    December 17, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  14. Samantha

    My thoughts and prayers are with these families, I really am at a loss for words about this tragedy. I am so glad to see someone remembering the victims instead of the killers.

    December 17, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  15. christine devane

    I think it would help alot if we add a subject in all grades to teach our children how to treat each other .i think they should tackel bullying, which could stop alot of suicides, anger managment to stop explosive behavior and catch mental illness while there young .These children are worth it .i truly believe there would be less domestic violence deaths less crowded prisons and mass deaths.lets get to the root of the problem before more of our future is lost

    December 17, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  16. Rachael

    You are the only news program I will watch about Sandy Hook. I feel you are so respectful of the families and community. I hate seeing the shooter's face, and know I will not have to see it when watching your program. I wish other news stations would follow your lead.

    December 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  17. Duane

    I too wonder why the shooter's mother was not mentioned .. She was a victim.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  18. Elisabeth Kirk

    I have asked my friend to join me in taking away our son's video games, e.g. Black Ops, etc.. as a way to memorialize the children in CT, and this is what she came up with - i'm so proud of her for taking the bull by the horns and going full steam ahead with this. LET"S START A MOVEMENT Everyone and "BE BRAVE".

    BE BRAVE~ Please start and promote this movement with me.
    Be Responsible America Video Embargo.
    BE BRAVE~ Start this movement with me in America to reclaim our children's compassion and attention.
    Are you Brave enough to put away your children's, and your shooting~video games out of respect for all the children who have been murdered by assault weapons in this country increasingly over the past few years?
    Build a world, where violence is not tolerated and entertainment does not condone desensitizing ourselves to the value human life. The games are fun, yes, and playing them does not mean you will become a demon, but what are you missing out on while hunting down fellow cyber~humans? What coping mechanisms for anger and frustration are you building for future reference? What connections is your brain Not making while you are not doing and exploring other gratifying things that might otherwise promote human dignity and empathy for our fellows. What things are you not learning and experiencing and doing during that valuable time?
    How can we be SO concerned with our kids math and science scores in this country and not even give a second thought as to where the kids' real time is going, and what kind of skills they are gaining? Wake up America! Time is a wasting!
    We have the ability to do SO much without any government involvement at all! No finger pointing! ACT , Just pass things on.
    In the name of all the children who have died, please do some thing yourself instead of just blaming the government for lack of gun regulation. Please Honor all our murdered young casualties of this misguided time in our society by putting away those entertaining games that belittle the seriousness of war and murder. I am not blaming these games, I am merely suggesting we take some time to reflect their impact on our already overwhelmed youth.
    Be BRAVE, for a week, a month , a year , forever, whatever your conscience can bear. I personally would be happy if violent video games became as uncool as smoking cigarettes. Are you brave enough to do something yourself? Care!Let them know we care and it matters. Please copy and Pass this on, lets change some of this ourselves for these children and their families.

    As for me and my house - this type of game will not be allowed anymore.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  19. Dan Quigley

    Mr. Cooper. You have been to many unstable places in the world like Egypt, where guns are common place. I'm guessing that the people there don't feel safe. It is good governance which makes persons safe, not the weapons they carry.

    I hear much lately about gun control, the right to bear arms as well as the unsafe feeling many of the U.S. citizens have. I believe the questions the people of the United States have to answer are "do they feel safe?" and "how can we make America safer?"

    I have had 36 years in law enforcement and in my country (Canada) I am considered a conservative, even right wing. We have fewer guns per capita and fewer crimes committed by firearms. Perhaps its time to look at prohibiting certain types of firearms and the capacity of weapon magazines.

    Other items which require discussion should include the removal of firearms from unstable persons.

    You and the folks at CNN have the ear of your country, it is my hope you will use that opportunity to cause change.

    December 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • sweetthang

      What did it take 5 minutes for this to become a gun rights issue? Some psycho with an unobservant family got ahold of guns that never should of been in the home in the first place and shot people. Should we ban butcher knives too? I'm just saying if the teachers were armed how many would we lose 3-5? And who let him into the school in the first place? Had 0 security to start with. anyone could have done it. These are bad times, so give up your rights to protect yourself physically and legally, that's the answer guys! RIP to all the babies who will now be centered in this BS...

      December 18, 2012 at 6:10 am |
  20. Chris Brelin

    US citizens need to be re-educated, or re-focused in much the same way as Eliminating cigarette smoking has been handled – FOR THE SAME REASONS.
    To improve societies general health. Just as people have been forced to recognize that smoking will no longer be tolerated in public, so too should semi automatic assault weapons, & gun-trade shows, sale of weapons from pawn shops & so on & so forth. Additionally, I believe the movie media should tone down their way-over-the-top glorification of violence being the American way to "be cool", "powerful" & "popular" – – – with physical fighting, guns & weapons.
    Just as US citizens had the "freedom" to smoke anywhere they wanted removed because the LARGER issue of prohibiting (or potentially prohibiting) the "freedom" of others from being exposed to the dangers of cigarette smoke, so too, is the LARGER issue of promoting the "freedom" of others from being exposed to (or the potential of) the dangers of bullets being fired from guns & rifles.
    I believe that Guns & Rifles are a huge problem in this country that is NOT as asset to our country.
    I believe the glorification of the mind-set that individual "might makes right" is an American value that morphed from the
    2nd Amendment & is NOT as asset to our country.

    December 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  21. Eric

    Maybe this had to happen to show us what kind of people we really are when we're "normal". . . "the kind of people we are, just underneath the skin. . .I mean all of us; a lot of naked, wild animals who put such a price on staying alive that they'd claw their neighbors to death just for the privilege." – (Rod Serling 1961)

    We scoff at the idea that the Mayaans could predict that the world was going to end in 2012 thousands of years ago; how could they possibly know? Maybe they realized, even then, what human beings are like when they are "normal". There might not be earthquakes, mega-tsunamis, or rogue meteors that hit this planet, but as we get closer to showing how "normal" we can be; how with two mass shootings in the past week in the U.S., a man armed with a knife can go into a Chinese school and hack 22 students on the same day that a gunman can go into a U.S. school and kill 30, leaders of countries besiege, imprison generations, and kill their own people, yes, we may not suffer a natural disaster, but we may find the world, as we know it, has ended just the same.

    December 17, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  22. Shelley

    Dear Anderson,

    It is so sad to hear about this horror of young children. we live in Canada and our hearts are broken in so many pieces, it is hard to explain. our deepest deepest sympathy go to all the family's. we wish there was some higher person that could bring these children back to there family's.
    my husband and i talk about these video games teenagers and even young kids play. why are most video games all about killing, blowing people up, fighting just to name a few? do we REALLY want our children to follow this kind of action, come on, any normal person would say NO.. plus the internet to go on line and find out how to build constructive items to hurt people, why? i wish the police or law enforement could regulate the internet, there is way to much violence, plus there is NO MORE SOCIAL ACTIVITIES, kids want to be behind a screen to hide, REALLY??? we wanted to play outside ball, bike riding, games, hide and seek, basket ball, baseball, hockey, now kids just want to play on computers and electronic's. i think a lot of these games have a lot to do with the thinking of teenagers young adults. why can't they make nice video games, ping pong, hockey, golf, sailing, fishing, something nice that kids can relate to. if i could change a lot of laws the electroinic's would be changed without having violence. i do understand that gun control has to be looked at in the govt eyes, we sure hope the laws get made tougher. here in Canada we can't just have a gun in our house it is illegal. i know Canada has some tougher laws then the USA but your laws to put people away are a lot tougher then ours and we wish we could get your laws to put murder's away for 99 years. they are lucky if they get 3 years. very sad. killing someone they should be put away for life. i wish we could could do more for those families in Newtown. please pass our canadian's wishes to all. god bless everyone and merry christmas.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  23. Kristanne Fearn

    I felt for you so much for you Anderson trying to read out the names and each tribute. I cried right there along with you- a beautiful and moving tribute for each precious child. Canada's hearts are with all of you.

    December 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  24. linda

    Thank you so much for not using the name of the perpertrator. My family holds prayers and heart filled sorrow for all of Newtown Ct.
    Anderson please do a segment on the charities held for these victims. Contributions that go directly to the families.
    I saw a brief segment with an Anita Busch from Auroura Co. Stating that these contributions do not go to the actual families and victims. Please keep them honest
    Sincere Fan
    Gibsonville NC

    December 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  25. Cindy Carroll

    Our family feels for those who lost a little one...
    Here is a poem I hope will help the families.

    An Angel whispered take my hand and come with me.
    I went away to a place where there's no tear, nor sorrow or pain only laughter and smiles, there will always be a Tomorrow so I can play.
    As I move amongst the clouds. I'll look down and smile upon you, remember how much I love you and know I took your love with me.
    Soon you'll come to me until then God will be with you just as He's with me.

    Our love is with the families...

    December 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  26. Patricia Butcher

    As a retired RN that has worked with children of all ages from Pediatrics to Teens with psychiatric & substance abuse problems, I have not seen anyone ask or address the possible use of drugs..Was Adam on any medications & what were they?? Many of these drugs can contribute to violent behavior.. I have always been against over medicating our youth.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  27. Shery

    I will remember all the names and faces of the innocent babes and grownups that were murdered that day. As for the gunman's name and face, i will burn his memory away in my mind for he doesn't deserve to be remembered.

    December 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  28. linda b

    We all know laws will never protect people from guns and violence...same as drug laws. If people want them they will find a way. Change the gun. Could this have prevented this shooting?? Maybe? If the fingerprint had to be of someone over 21..then yes!! we will always have nstable people and laws that dont work...so the answer is to change the "middle". a pin # to put in the finger print, like an ATM or my LuGGAGE!!!!

    December 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  29. linda b


    You seem to be the least "talking head" out there...can you please pass this along....Everyone is asking what can be done, like there is just no good answer. If we did half of what we do to protect money, guns would be safer. technology has come so far and guns are the same as 100 years ago???? makes no sense!!! Finger print sensors on guns...one can put in as many prints as they wish..but...they are responsible for them...Just like a car...so easy to fix.
    Stealing a gun would be useless.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  30. sara elrod

    I am a grandmother of 3 children, 2 of which are in grade schools. Why don't we start up an organization at each school in the US that guards the schools? We have Security guards for school crossing, why can't grandmothers/aunts-uncles who have the time, create a schedule with our school system to sit outside the school for 4 hours to watch over our children? I would gladly stand guard once a week, or what ever it takes. Yes I am a registered concealed weapon carrier, who owns a gun for my own protection, I believe there are people out there with guns who can help our community, in some way. Maybe by volunteering to guard our loved ones (with or without our gun) this might bring alittle more peace of mind to the parents of our young children, if they knew it was grandma's shift to watch today.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  31. Elaine Lynch

    The right to bear arms, that is guaranteed in the Constitution, should be looked at in the context
    of what "arms" meant in the 1700s. The Founding Fathers did not envision Assault Weapons and
    the ability to fire so many bullets in a couple of seconds/minutes.
    Where is Common Sense in looking at this?

    December 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  32. Lila

    What happened on Friday was a very sad and a horrific event and our prayers go out to the families and those affected by it.
    I just want to say that growing up in the Philippines, it is illegal to own a gun. Also, public and private schools are gated and have 24/7 security guards. I think this is still the case today. Having said that, having a security guard at school entrances might be one solution to avoid future attacks and violence in schools.In colleges or universities, you are required to wear a school ID to enter, or sign in with the guard if you forgot your ID or are a guest. Growing up, I haven't heard or know of any crimes committed in schools. The security guards and a physical barrier like a gate or a fence I think will deter someone who has intentions of committing a crime in schools. Maybe, these are some solutions that can be considered.

    December 17, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  33. Carleen Kress

    I am curious as to why the name of the shooter's mother was not mentioned at the memorial service held last night in Newton, Conn. She was a victim as well.

    December 17, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • ZuZu

      She was a victim? Maybe. Of her own negligence and stupidity. WHO needs to have assault guns in the home? WHO needs to have weapons like that in a home with an unstable person, whether a "son" or not? That woman is just as culpable in my opinion. 20 children and their teachers are gone forever. Why? Because she wanted to "collect" assault weapons? A victim? Hardly.

      December 19, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  34. Pierre Bean

    Chris D. Lovick Jr. Just made a suggestion to the White House. Many won't like it, but here it goes:

    I have a suggestion regarding gun control. I'm retired military, and my profession was Security Forces. So, I am not one of these folks who hates the sight of guns.

    Here is the suggestion: Require yearly registrations, and well as taxes (fees) on each weapon (at the federal level).

    I believe this will (1) help us better track the purchases/ownership of guns, and (2) discourage the collection of guns in the home, as they would now come with an added responsibility (yearly registering/renewal), and an added liability (yearly taxes/fees).

    We register cars yearly, why not guns?

    I believe that a $50.00 fee/tax for each gun would be reasonable.

    This way, we reduce the purchases, without limiting the number of guns people can own.

    Based on this scenario, a person who had 10 guns in the home, would be required to register them all, and pay $500.00 annually just to have them. I think most would sell most of them, and choose to reduce their liability.

    We could also place an added tax on ammunition as well, at the time of purchase.

    The funds collected from the taxes/fees should be required to be earmarked to fund law enforcement efforts to crack down on illegal firearms, as well as on initiatives to address firearm safety and awareness. Funds could also be used for an initiative to promote mental health via anti-violence counseling for people who have been involved in a gun violence incident.

    Assault weapons should be banned altogether.
    22 hours ago · Like · 1

    Pierre Bean Great idea!!!!They need a trained arm Guard at all these schools, which will help with bullying and a way to secure entrances...

    December 17, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  35. Marge Colonna Burgio

    We have all been rocked by a horrific tragedy shown at this beautiful Connecticut Elementary School!! We first send our hearts to all the families who lost their beloved children and loved ones. The school personnel was obviously well trained and devoted to their calling to educate and care for their K-4 students!! Their bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten and will be a burning example to our American schools across the nation!!

    As a retired elementary teacher that taught for about 30 years, I am inspired by the efforts of all involved, but very saddened by the loss of an inspirational principal, teachers and other staff. The tragic loss of all of them and the children is so much to bear.

    How do we learn from this and go on? Evidently, the safety measures used for the past decade are not enough. Perhaps we need a police officer at each school, that can also be assessible to students for learning safety. More adults in classrooms are necessary, such as educated aides, professionals…no teacher in this era should be alone all day with 18-20 0r more children. It has become a bigger than life responsibility to teach all the standards, guidelines and lessons of life required in this upwardly mobile, technology based world. Teachers are not only charged with teaching the basics but so much more. This in turn would establish more jobs, a safer environment and a school community that can have a more peaceful existence. I disagree that a principal should be armed! Instead, they should be assisted by law enforcement and a plan to not put themselves or anyone else in danger if at all possible. May educators and students rally together to do their best in good and difficult times to instill the values we need to create great citizens for our beloved country, the United States of America…and may God Bless Us All!

    December 17, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  36. Barbara

    I love that you are not saying the shooters name! I so, agree with you. I never want to hear his name again. Those children and teachers should be the ONLY names remembered. Love, Hugs and Prayers to all.

    December 17, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  37. Yubi

    Oh god... you can even hear Anderson choking up. Bless their souls.

    December 17, 2012 at 7:36 am |