“Today is your day to paint life in bold colors; Set today’s rhythm with your heart-drum; Walk today’s march with courage; Create today as your celebration of life.”
-Jonathan Lockwood Huie
December 19th, 2012: Paul Simon sang “The Sound of Silence” at The Lordship Community Church in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
December, 2012: The Victoria Leigh Soto Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund was announced by Eastern Connecticut State University. The fund will be awarded to students who want to be teachers.
January 14th, 2013: A proposal by the mayor of Stratford was unanimously approved by the Stratford Town Council. The Proposal was to have a local school named the Victoria Soto Elementary School.
December 14th, 2012
Victoria Soto, a first grade teacher, was shot and killed while trying to shield her students from one of the most heinous crimes to date. 20 students, 5 teachers and the gunman’s mother were killed that morning. Victoria Soto sacrificed her life to save the lives of her students.
It’s been over a month since the incident. I chose to write this article in honor of Victoria Soto.
What I did not realize was how difficult it would be.
On December 14th, 2012, my daughter Julia turned 5. Like many parents that morning, I dropped my daughters off at school. I watched as they followed their teachers to their classrooms believing they were in a safe place. Then, I went to work. Our family had planned on celebrating Julia’s birthday that evening. A few hours later, I heard the news about the Newtown massacre.
Victoria Soto was just 27-years-old when she was stripped of her life. No words can describe the horror she must have endured. It’s impossible to understand the fear each person in the school experienced that day, nor can I imagine what the survivor’s memories will bring.
What I do know is that Victoria Soto’s selflessness and courage during a time of horror will never be forgotten. She hid her first grade students behind bookcases, barriers, and under her desk. Her first instinct was not to save herself but to save the children and another teacher. Although she was not the only one killed in her classroom, when Adam Lanza (the shooter) entered the room, she was the only person he saw. Because of her bravery, some of her first grade students were able to see their parents again, and sleep in their own beds that night.
It’s rare one meets people like Victoria Soto today. Those that knew her were blessed.
Victoria Soto’s legacy exemplifies the type of person I want my daughter’s to learn from each day.
The dates and events regarding Victoria Soto listed were found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Leigh_Soto
This post was written by Shivani Cotter for the Global Team Of 200 27 Days Of Kindness Campaign.