Flanked by fellow grieving Sandy Hook parents and an enlarged photo of her late daughter, Nelba Marquez-Greene explained why she has taken the Sandy Hook Promise.
“On Dec. 14, I put two children on the bus and only one came home,” she said. “I pray that no mother, father, grandparent or caregiver of children ever have to go through this pain.”
That is what members of the organization Sandy Hook Promise hope to achieve through their mission, which was explained in detail at Edmond Town Hall Monday morning. It was exactly one month since a lone gunman killed before turning the gun on himself in one of the worst acts of school violence in the nation’s history.
Members of the organization, which has applied for non-profit status, explained to hundreds of media outlets that they have no set agenda at this point other than to help enact positive change and try to prevent another tragedy from happening again. They have not taken an official stance on gun control debates that have erupted in the wake of the shooting. They have not pushed for particular school safety measures. And they haven’t asked for specific changes to the mental health system.
Parent Nicole Hockley, whose son, Dylan, was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting, said she doesn’t know what the necessary changes are to make our society safer.
“I come with no preconceived agenda,” she said. “I do believe there is no quick fix, no single action, but instead a multitude of interlinked actions that are needed.”
With that in mind, members of Sandy Hook Promise are looking to garner support from people all over the world. They are asking people to visit their website — www.sandyhookpromise.org — and promise that “this time there will be change."
The website’s homepage says:
"I promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common sense solutions to make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence.”
"This is a promise to do everything in our power to be remembered not as the town filled with grief and victims, but as the place where real change began," Nicole Hockley said.