A mother who lost her 6-year-old daughter in a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in 2012 is apologizing to victims in Orlando.
“I am sorry. I am so, so sorry. I am sorry that our tragedy here in Sandy Hook wasn’t enough to save your loved ones,” wrote mom Nelba Márquez-Greene in a Facebook post Sunday.
Márquez-Greene’s daughter, Ana Grace, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, along with 20 other first graders and 6 adult staff members, when a gunman opened fire in 2012.
When she heard another man killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando, she was heartbroken.
She says she is tired of hearing the same story play out again and again.
“Perhaps I will build a bullet proof barrier around my house and just order groceries from Peapod all summer. Or for the rest of our lives,” wrote Márquez-Greene. “But my message is and always will be ‘love wins.'”
Since losing her daughter in a mass shooting, Márquez-Greene has advocated for stricter gun laws.
“I am waiting for the church to be as outraged about gun violence as much as we seem to be about who pees where in a Target bathroom,” wrote Márquez-Greene.
In the message written to victims in Orlando and family members of the deceased, she said hearing the devastating news brought back difficult memories for her.
“My first reaction was visceral. I know the horror of waiting to hear. A helicopter flew overhead. It made everything too real. Too familiar. I panicked. I called my friend. I cried. Fifty people. I am reliving being one of the family members in wait,” wrote Márquez-Greene. “How do I tell my son that fifty people all died the way his sister did? And in one of our favorite places: Orlando, Florida.”
She promised Orlando’s victims to continue fighting for laws to change.
“I tried and I won’t stop trying. Don’t you dare even listen to even ONE person who may insinuate that somehow this is your loved ones fault because they were gay or any other reason. Nor is it God’s wrath,” wrote Márquez-Greene. “They did that to us on Sandy Hook- too. And it broke my heart. You will receive love from a million places. Embrace it. Take good care of yourself. This will be a forever journey. Some ugly will come your way too. Delete. Ignore. Let it go.”
She encouraged the victims and their families to find comfort in love.
“Your loss today will bring out the worst AND the best in all of us. May we commit to being our best selves in honor of what you now bear,” wrote Márquez-Greene. “My son will learn about your loved ones. And we will not forget. We will say their names out loud. We will remember your children. As you remembered and learned about ours… We love you. We are so very heartbroken.”