Newtown dad to Parkland families: ‘My heart is broken with you’
Family members, loved ones and the country are remembering the 17 lives lost during the mass school shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida, last Valentine’s Day.
News 12’s Marissa Alter spoke with Mark Barden, a Newtown parent who lost his son in the Sandy Hook shooting. He didn’t presume to know what the journey's been like for those who lost loved ones a year ago, but he did share some personal insight.
“There is significance to these moments in time where you do reflect: What was I doing a year ago today or two years ago today? The day before the tragedy?” he told News 12. “Life as we used to know it, this changes you.”
Barden says he's spoken with and visited many of the Parkland families, offering them any support he can.
The Parkland shooting has since been treated as a pivot point for a generation that has grown up with active shooter drills. It sparked the March for our Lives movement, which has garnered momentum and spurned a renewed call for stricter gun control laws.
“They have had a significant impact and it's so genuine,” says Barden. “I can only do so much advocating on behalf of my 7-year-old son. Those high school students are advocating for their very own future and they're shaping the nation for all of us in the process.”
Barden knows that progress doesn't erase the pain of what happened.
“My heart is broken with you, and I literally mean that. I'm here for you in any way, capacity, I can be,” he says.