This is Daniel Barden. At 7 years old he was one of the lives taken at the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. He is a family member of one of my co-workers so I post this with her permission. 

Daniel comes from a hard working family and a fund has been set up online to help assist in their time of need. If you wish to donate, information is available at www.bardenfund.com

If you wish to share your condolences with the family, you may do so at the Daniel Barden legacy page

Thank you.

Though he was only in first grade, Daniel Barden was very much an “old soul,” his family said today. He was one of the 20 children who died Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. At the age of 4, he displayed an empathy for others remarkable for a child so young. It didn’t go unnoticed - teachers chose Daniel to be paired with a special education student at his school. His mother, Jackie Barden, said she was always struck by “how unusual he was." "Our neighbors always said, ‘He’s like an old soul,’” Barden said during an interview on “Katie." He carried that kindness with him as he got older. "He would hold doors open for adults all the time,” said his father, Mark Barden. He laughed, remembering the times he’d be “halfway” across a parking lot and see his son still holding a door for strangers. "Our son had so much love to give to this world,“ Barden said. "He was supposed to have a whole lifetime of bringing that light to the world." Daniel had two older siblings, James, age 12, and Natalie, age 10, who doted on their little brother. "He was just so sweet and kind and thoughtful,” James said.

On Friday, 7-year-old Daniel, who was one of the 20 young victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School, woke up early. He played foosball with his mother. As usual, Daniel won, she said. The score was 10 to 8. His father also taught him how to play “Jingle Bells” on the piano that morning.


During the time of Lent, I did something different by writing a personal letter to every family affected by the Sandy Hook shooting. I never expected a response back, but today I got one from the family of Daniel Barden. I read up on every single victim to get to know what they were like. I remember reading about him that he was an incredibly happy child. I have rarely been moved to years in my life, but this small note hit it home. Rest in Peace, Daniel.

I know over the past month my Tumblr has featured a lot about the Sandy Hook shooting and in response, gun control. I apologize if not all these views are in agreement with your own, but the shooting at Newton has had a deep impact on my family. It has taught us to be grateful for how close knit and supportive our family is, work to make ourselves better, and been a terrible reminder that those horror stories you see in the media aren’t just stories, but could impact you.

Today my cousin and her husband wrote an article for the Washington Post about Daniel and how something has to be done. I’m posting it here in honor of him, and for them. I myself have been really upset about this, and I never got the chance to know him personally. My sadness over his death doesn’t even come close to what his family must be feeling, and I can’t even compare it to mine. Instead I’d just like you to consider this policy through their eyes- think of it not as a political issue, but rather as a personal one as it has become for my family. The shootings like what happened in Newton can’t be allowed to continue. I don’t know what exactly has to be done- but something has to be done.


Your Morning Heartbreak: Post-Newtown, How Victims' Families Cope

Daniel Barden, 2005-2012

Sunday’s Washington Post features an article that will break your heart. Written by Eli Saslow, it’s a brilliant piece of journalism titled “After Newtown shooting, mourning parents enter into the lonely quiet.” The article focuses on one family, Mark and Jackie Barden, whose 7-year old son, Daniel, was murdered in the Newtown massacre. Part of it focuses on the devastating grief they cope with every day. The other part is about their anti-gun activism, and how they stoically soldier on with it, despite their deep frustration and disappointment with a profoundly dysfunctional political system that gives no quarter to reasonable restrictions on guns, in spite of overwhelming popular support.

Here’s an excerpt, which details some of the activist work the Bardens have done:

The Bardens had already tried to change America’s gun laws by studying the Second Amendment and meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office. They had spoken at tea party rallies, posed for People magazine and grieved on TV with Katie Couric. They had taken advice from a public relations firm, learning to say “magazine limits” and not “magazine bans,” to say “gun responsibility” and never “gun control.” When none of that worked, they had walked the halls of Congress with a bag of 200 glossy pictures and beseeched lawmakers to look at their son: his auburn hair curling at the ears, his front teeth sacrificed to a soccer collision, his arms wrapped around Ninja Cat, the stuffed animal that had traveled with him everywhere, including into the hearse and underground.

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