- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 16, 2012

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Just 48 hours after their loved ones were taken from them by a gunman, families of the Newtown elementary school shooting victims have begun to lay bare their emotions and open up about the deep loss they’ve suffered.

Friday’s tragedy, already impossible to put into words, has become even more heart-wrenching as photographs of the young children surface. One such child is Daniel Barden, described by family members as a “constant source of joy and laughter.”

“Everyone who has ever met Daniel remembers and loves him. Words really cannot express what a special boy Daniel was. Such a light. Always smiling, unfailingly polite, incredibly affectionate, fair and so thoughtful towards others, imaginative in play, both intelligent and articulate in conversation,” reads a statement released by Daniel’s family.

“He embodied everything that is wholesome and innocent in the world. Our hearts break over losing him and for the many other families suffering loss. We thank our friends, family and the community for their prayers and support that we have received,” they said.

Robbie Parker, the father of 6-year-old victim Emilie Parker, spoke to reporters on Sunday afternoon and said that “this world is a better place” because his daughter had been in it.

In a remarkable moment of compassion, Mr. Parker also offered words of sympathy to the family of the shooter, Adam Lanza.

“I can’t imagine how hard this experience must be for you, and I want you to know that our family and our love and our support goes out to you as well,” he said.

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