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.”
After reading the letter, Cooper tells the woman, former Chair of the Newtown Board of Education Lillian Bittman, who presents the handwritten missive that she can tell Natalie her words have been heard by viewers and hopefully the President.
Below, an image of Natalie Barden’s letter, a clip of Cooper’s interview and a video of Daniel’s funeral.