Sandy Hook shooting survivors set to graduate from HS with mixed feelings: ‘A whole chunk of our class missing’

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Sandy Hook shooting survivors are group to postgraduate from Newtown High School pinch mixed feelings knowing 20 of their slain classmates won’t beryllium stepping crossed nan shape pinch them.

About 60 of nan 330 graduating seniors from nan Connecticut precocious schoolhouse were successful Sandy Hook Elementary School erstwhile a deranged gunman opened occurrence connected Dec. 14, 2012, sidesplitting 20 first graders and different six staffers.

While nan victims of 1 of nan worst schoolhouse shootings successful US history will beryllium honored during nan ceremony, it hasn’t been revealed how.

Emma Ehrens, (C), a subsister of nan 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, speaks arsenic she stands pinch different survivors during a rally against weapon unit connected June 7, 2024, successful Newtown, Conn. AP

“I americium decidedly going to beryllium emotion a batch of mixed emotions,” said Emma Ehrens, 17, who was 1 of nan 11 children from Classroom 10 to past nan attack.

“I’m ace excited to be, like, done pinch precocious schoolhouse and moving connected to nan adjacent section of my life. But I’m besides truthful … mournful, I guess, to person to beryllium stepping crossed that shape alone. … I for illustration to deliberation that they’ll beryllium location pinch america and stepping crossed that shape pinch us.”

Ehrens was 1 of 5 students who talked to nan Associated Press astir nan large time up and nan affectional load associated pinch it.

Lilly Wasilnak, 17, said she thinks everyone is “super excited” for graduation.

“But I deliberation we can’t hide … that location is simply a full chunk of our people missing,” said Wasilnak, who was successful a schoolroom down nan hallway from nan gunfire.

Police and ambulance astatine nan segment successful nan aftermath of a schoolhouse shooting astatine nan segment of Sandy Hook Elementary School connected Dec. 14, 2012. AFP via Getty Images

“And truthful going into graduation, we each person very mixed emotions — trying to beryllium excited for ourselves and this accomplishment that we’ve worked truthful difficult for, but besides those who aren’t capable to stock it pinch us, who should person been capable to.”

Another student, Grace Fischer, acknowledged graduating students from Sandy Hook didn’t person a emblematic schoolhouse experience.

“As overmuch arsenic we’ve tried to person that normal, like, puerility and normal precocious schoolhouse experience, it wasn’t wholly normal,” Fischer, 18, said.

Members of Junior Newtown Action Alliance clasp signs during a rally against weapon unit connected June 7, 2024, successful Newtown, Conn. AP

“But moreover though we are missing … specified a large chunk of our class, for illustration Lilly said, we are still graduating. … We want to beryllium those regular teenagers who locomotion crossed nan shape that time and consciousness that, like, celebratory emotion successful ourselves, knowing that we’ve travel this far.”

Students dream moving onto nan adjacent chapters of their lives springiness them an opportunity for a caller start.

“In Sandy Hook, what happened is ever benignant of looming complete us,” said Matt Holden, 17, who was successful a schoolroom down nan hallway from nan shooting.

Ehrens hugs a family friend during a rally against weapon unit connected Friday successful Newtown, Conn. AP

“I deliberation leaving and being capable to make caller memories and meet caller people, moreover if we’ll beryllium much isolated distant from group who person stories for illustration us, we’ll beryllium much free to benignant of constitute our ain story. … And benignant of, you know, not fto this 1 arena that happened because we were very young specify our lifetimes.”

“For me, I consciousness for illustration it’s decidedly going to get amended and beryllium capable to break free of that strategy and conscionable beryllium capable to go my ain personification alternatively than, again, nan Sandy Hook kid,” Ehrens added.

The students person been progressive successful nan Junior Newtown Action Alliance and successful anti-gun unit efforts successful a bid to forestall different tragic wide shootings.

People stitchery for a dream vigil astatine St Rose Church pursuing an simple schoolhouse shooting successful Newtown, Connecticut, Dec. 14, 2012. AFP via Getty Images

Ella Seaver, 18, said she plans connected studying psychology successful assemblage to go a therapist to springiness backmost to others.

“Putting my sound retired location and moving pinch each of these astonishing group to effort and create alteration really puts a meaning to nan trauma that we each were forced to experience,” Seaver said.

“It’s a measurement to consciousness for illustration you’re doing something. Because we are. We’re fighting for alteration and we’re really not going to extremity until we get it.”

With Post wires

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