Newtown resident Natalie Barden, 10, has already faced more in her short life than many of us could imagine — burying little brother Daniel Barden yesterday, one of the 20 victims of a horrific school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Natalie Barden’s little brother wanted to be a firefighter, and, in Daniel’s honor, scores of uniformed firemen lined the streets in a sober procession to guard the tiny casket at his funeral Wednesday.
Parents Mark and Jackie Barden described their son in a statement, saying:
“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: in all, a constant source of laughter and joy.”
The Bardens’ daughter Natalie has now, less than a week after losing Daniel, bravely undertaken action to affect change after her brother’s tragic murder. That a 10-year-old girl is forced to endure this needless loss is heartrending — that she has to speak up where adults have failed is shameful.
From a letter to President Barack Obama, Natalie Barden’s words were read aloud on CNN last night by Anderson Cooper.
Concisely and achingly, the girl implores:
“My name is Natalie Barden and I wanted to tell the president that only police officers and the military should get guns. If people want to do it as a sport than they could go to a shooting range and the guns would not be able to leave there.”