Statement from the family of Ana Grace Marquez-Greene:
It is with immeasurable grief and heavy-heartedness that we mourn the loss of our precious angel, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene. She was taken from us far too soon in the horrific massacre enacted upon Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning December 14, 2012. She was 6 ½ years old.
In her short life, Ana strengthened us with her loving, generous joyful spirit. She routinely committed selfless acts of kindness: every drawing or craft project she began was envisioned not for her own enjoyment, but as a gift for another. She often left sweet notes that read, "I love you Mom and Dad," under our bedroom pillow – not on special occasions, but, rather, on ordinary days. She would not allow me to kiss her goodbye. Instead, when I bent down to kiss her, she would take a step backwards, poke out her lips and wait for me to lower my cheek -she made it clear that she wanted to do the kissing.
Ana's love for singing was evident before she was even able to talk. In a musical family, her gift for melody, pitch and rhythm stood out remarkably. And she never walked anywhere – her mode of transportation was dance. She danced from room to room and place to place. She danced to all the music she heard, whether in air or in her head. Ana loved her God, loved to read the Bible and loved to sing and dance as acts of worship.
We ask that you pray for the legions of people who are left behind to cherish memories of her. We also ask that you, like Ana, commit selfless acts of kindness to all those around you. Maybe, in some way, through love, similar senseless acts of violence could be prevented. Funeral arrangements will be announced soon. In lieu of gifts and flowers, the family is working to establish scholarships in Ana's name at Western Connecticut State University's Department of Music in Danbury, Conn. and the Artist's Collective in Hartford, Conn.
James Mattioli, Age 6
James Mattioli, known to many simply as "J," loved life until it was tragically ended on Friday, was a smart, active boy who looked up to – and like – his father, played sports and loved food, an obituary posted online through a Monroe funeral home said.
"I need to go outside, Mom. I need fresh air," the family recalled James saying often. He loved baseball, basketball swimming and arm wrestling. He and his cousin George played hockey together.
The 6-year-old "proudly" rode his bike without training wheels, his family said.
His family, through the obituary, said that James was born four weeks early at Bridgeport Hospital. It became a joke that his early birth was caused by the fact that he was hungry. James loved hamburgers, omelets with bacon and French toast. When visiting Subway with his parents, he's once asked how old he would have to be to order a foot-long sub.
He was the first one up in the morning, and would draw and do crafts with his older sister, Anna.
Math and numbers came quickly to James. A friend, Christopher, introduced him to the concept of a googolplex, a number so large it's physically impossible to write.
-- Brian Dowling
Grace McDonnell, Age 7
Chris, Lynn and Jack McDonnell, the parents and older brother of Grace McDonnell, sent in a short statement to The Washington Post: "We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from so many people. Our daughter Grace was the love and light of our family. Words cannot adequately express our sense of loss."
The Werdens, who live across the street from the McDonnell's, shared a school bus stop. And so, on many mornings, the Werdens saw Grace's father, Christopher McDonnell, a competitive runner, out for jog.
"It's heartbreaking, just heartbreaking," Todd Werden said. "It's just unfathomable."
Werden described Grace as "a real cute little blonde girl with blue eyes — a real little doll."
The McDonnell family residence was still brightly decorated for the holidays.
"Last night it was all ablaze with Christmas lights," Werden said.