- Associated Press - Sunday, December 16, 2012

Most died at the very start of their young lives, tiny victims taken in a way not fit for anyone regardless of age. Others found their life’s work in sheltering little ones, teaching them, caring for them, treating them as their own. After the gunfire ended Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the trail of loss was more than many could bear: 20 students and six adults at the school, the gunman’s mother at home, and the gunman himself.

A glimpse of some of those who died:

Charlotte Bacon, 6

They were supposed to be for the holidays, but finally on Friday, after hearing much begging, Charlotte Bacon’s mother relented and let her wear her new pink dress and boots to school.

It was the last outfit the outgoing redhead would ever pick out. Charlotte’s older brother, Guy, was also in the school but was not shot.

Olivia Engel, 6

The images of Olivia Engel will live far beyond her short lifetime. There she is, visiting with Santa Claus, or feasting on a slice of birthday cake. There’s the one of her swinging a pink baseball bat, and another posing on a boat. In some, she models a pretty white dress; in others, she makes a silly face.

Dan Merton, a longtime friend of the girl’s family, says he could never forget the child, and he has much to say when he thinks of her.

“She loved attention,” he said. “She had perfect manners, perfect table manners. She was the teacher’s pet, the line leader.”

Dawn Hochsprung, 47, principal

Dawn Hochsprung’s pride in Sandy Hook Elementary was clear. She regularly tweeted photos from her time as principal there, giving indelible glimpses of life at a place now known for tragedy. Just this week, it was an image of fourth-graders rehearsing for their winter concert; days before that, the tiny hands of kindergartners exchanging play money at their makeshift grocery store.

Officials said she died while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him.

Madeleine Hsu, 6

Dr. Matthew Velsmid was at Madeleine’s house on Saturday, tending to her stricken family. He said the family did not want to comment.

Dr. Velsmid said that after hearing of the shooting, he went to the triage area to provide medical assistance but there were no injuries to treat.

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