Robbie Parker, whose daughter Emilie was one of the 20 slain children at Sandy Hook Elementary, gave a heartbreaking statement to press this evening in Newtown, Connecticut.
Robbie Parker’s statement, broadcast on CNN, blew viewers away with the grieving dad’s graceful words regarding the tragedy that claimed the lives of Emilie Parker, 6, and 19 of her classmates, along with six female Sandy Hook Elementary School employees.
Many were moved to tears watching Parker, tearful himself, describe his firstborn daughter’s ability to “light up a room” as he recalled her life and their last conversation.
Among the things Robbie Parker had to say about how the family is dealing with the loss of Emilie, he told those gathered:
“Let this inspire us to be better, more compassionate, and caring toward other people.”
Parker urged parents to be a little more patient, and spoke of the heartbreaking circumstance of explaining Emilie Parker’s death to her siblings, three and four. He said:
“They seem to get the fact that they have somebody they’re going to miss very much.”
To the family of Adam Lanza, Parker included them directly in his support for other families, and said:
“I can’t imagine how hard this experience must be for you.”
Parker added that after the tragedy, he felt “blessed to be” Emilie’s dad for her short time here, and said:
“I’m not mad … If there’s anything I can do to help anyone anywhere, I’m willing to do that.”
Last night, Parker’s uncle Nate Lucas told press that his nephew Robbie and wife Alissa had a long, agonizing wait to hear about Emilie and her condition during the hours after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Lucas said:
“All the kids were taken to a fire station complex, and Alissa was trying to find Emilie, and couldn’t find her … That was the first indication that the news might not be good. Later, some information was given to Robbie and Alissa, that she was one who was at least injured, but they didn’t give them any other information. Quite some time later, the confirmation was that Emilie was one of those killed.”
Emilie Parker’s name was one of 26 released today by the Connecticut medical examiner after a press conference with Dr. Wayne Carver on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
Longtime friends of Robbie Parker and wife Alissa have set up the Emilie Parker Fund to assist the family, and you can like their page on Facebook for updates and information on donating to the #EmilieParkerFund.