Today, moments of silence are being held across the country for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty children, ages six and seven, and six educators were killed last Friday. Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy invited other states to join him in the moment of silence, "Let us all come together collectively to mourn the loss of far too many promising lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Though we will never know the full measure of sorrow experienced by these families, we can let them know that we stand with them during this difficult time." Many states, including NY, agreed.

Bells at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. will toll 26 times. First Lady Michelle Obama wrote a letter to Newtown, published in today's Hartford Courant:

Over the past week, we as Americans have been united in our grief as Newtown has laid to rest so many beautiful, innocent children, along with the heroic educators who worked every day to help them achieve their dreams.

As a mother of two young daughters, my heart aches for you and your families. Like so many Americans, I wish there were something — anything — I could do or say to ease your anguish.

But I know that I cannot begin to imagine the depths of your grief. I know that for many of you, the pain you are enduring right now seems unbearable; and many of you may be asking yourselves, how can we go on — as families and as a community?

But I also know that we have already begun to see the answer to that question in the countless acts of courage, kindness and love here in Newtown and across America.


Over the past week, I have been awed and inspired by Newtown's heroes: the first responders who risked their lives at a moment's notice; the educators whose devotion to their students shone brightest in one of our nation's darkest hours; the children who comforted each other despite their fear; the families coming together to support each other as they grieve.

And I am so proud of the outpouring of love and support that has come from every corner of America: from first responders from neighboring cities rushing to help however they could; from people in Cleveland and Charlotte and Juneau and so many other communities joining together to honor Newtown with their thoughts and prayers; and in living rooms and houses of worship and the halls of our government, where we are beginning to have those difficult conversations about how we can build a safer, more peaceful tomorrow for all our children.

And I want you to know that this is just the beginning. As my husband has said, in the coming weeks, he will use all the powers of his office to engage citizens from across this country to find ways to prevent tragedies like this one. And please know that every minute of every day, we are thinking of you, and praying for you, and holding you and your families in our hearts as you begin the slow and wrenching work of healing and moving forward.

In the months and years ahead, may the memories of those beautiful children and those heroic adults be a blessing for their families, for your community, and for our country, and may God bless you all.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Washington, D.C.

President Obama, who called the violence senseless and said it must end, has formed a task force to look at current gun control policies.