By Adrian Carrasquillo, NBCLatino
Ana Grace Marquez-Green, the little girl who loved to sing and dance, and was killed in a brutal school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary, was remembered by her mother Thursday on aFacebook tribute page, on what would have been her seventh birthday.
“In honor of Ana’s life, we invite you to celebrate with family or friends today,” she began the post. “Reach out to a neighbor, coworker or classmate. Perform a random act of kindness. Wear something purple or sparkly. Read with a child. Crank up the music, eat second dessert, dance like nobody’s watching. Call your leaders. Pray for our country. Pray for common sense solutions. Pray for a love revolution.”
In USA Today on Thursday, both parents, Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene, talked a bit about their daughter.
“Ana was an infectiously happy child loved by everyone — equal parts her passionate Puerto Rican therapist mother and her African-American jazz musician father, the parents wrote. “She danced rather than walk. She danced from room to room and place to place. She danced to all the music she heard, whether in the air or in her head.”
But the family, which works with “Sandy Hook Promise,” a nonprofit organization asking the country to make a promise a tragedy like Sandy Hook will never happen again, also addressed what they want people to remember on her birthday.
“We somehow missed the connection before, only realizing last week that Ana was born on the anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death,” the parents wrote.
“When we think of all that Dr. King accomplished before he was taken away, we are all the more bereft that Ana’s limitless potential will never be realized. Like the thousands of children we lose every year to gun violence. How many might have grown up to cure a disease, write a symphony, or be the next Dr. King? Our message on Ana’s birthday is simple: Let’s stop squandering this potential. Let love win by valuing human life.”
In the Facebook letter, her mother shared a treasured and tragic possession — the last photo she took with her daughter.
“Seven years ago I gave birth to the most amazing sweet caramel princess. Less than four months ago, she was executed in her classroom. This photo is our final picture together taken at dinner on December 13th,” she wrote.
Her mother concluded her letter thanking everyone around the country for their support and with a final message for her daughter, taken much too soon.
“Thank you for loving and supporting us. Thank you for not letting Ana’s memory fade away. Thank you for your cards and letters both to us and to Washington. Thank you for reminding us that love does win. Happy first birthday in heaven to our princess of peace. Our princess for 6 and 1/2 years. Jesus’ princess for eternity.”
This article was first published in NBCLatino.
A multimedia journalist with a love for (read: obsession with) social media and how it interacts with news. He is of Puerto Rican/Ecuadorian descent and went to Stuyvesant High School before graduating from Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism. He worked at MyFoxNY.com and Fox News Latino before joining NBC Latino. Adrian sought to continue his work in Latino news because he believes there are stories out there asking to be told and a community that deserves a news site that reflects the nuance, richness and depth of the U.S. Latino experience.
[Photo by Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. Courtesy Kate-Orlikow Kineret-Rifkind]