Tragedy in Newtown

Thanks to Dena Fleno of Council 4 for designing this tribute.

Statement from Council 4 Executive Director Sal Luciano:

Words, whether printed or spoken, do not come easily when we try to grasp the magnitude of the heart-wrenching tragedy that took the lives of 20 children and seven adults, including some extraordinarily dedicated public servants, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Council 4 mourns those who lost their lives and prays for the families who must piece together their lives in the aftermath of the mind-numbing violence that took place.

We thank Newtown school teachers, administrators and staff, including our members from AFSCME Local 1303-215 (Board of Education Nurses) who comforted and protected the children amid such horrible mayhem.

Thanks as well to the first responders, including members of Newtown police officers (AFSCME Local 3153 of Council 15) and state police dispatchers at Troop L in Litchfield (AFSCME Local 562) and Central Headquarters in Middletown (Local 318). Our thoughts and prayers also go out to all Newtown residents and town employees, including Police Dispatchers (AFSCME Local 1303-136) and Public Works (AFSCME Local 1303-200).

As President Obama stated, "Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown or a shopping mall in Oregon or a temple in Wisconsin or a movie theater in Aurora (Colorado) or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children."

John Volket of the Newtown Bee wrote a compelling article about the heroism and intelligent adherence to training demonstrated by the school workers. I would ask you to read his piece, "More Stories Of Heroism Emerging From School Shooting Tragedy."

There will be plenty of emotional debate in the days and weeks ahead. Now is the time to join together, as a state and as a nation, to show support for the victims and their families.

Scroll down to "Additional Resources" for ways you can help those are suffering and rebuilding in Newtown.

And please sign our online card of solidarity and sympathy that we will deliver to our sisters and brothers in Newtown.