A former Winnipeg resident whose six-year-old was among 20 children killed in the Newtown, Conn., massacre says in a Facebook post that she remembers hugging her daughter before she boarded a school bus wearing a purple T-shirt emblazoned with a peace sign the morning of the shooting, and that her Christmas wish is to "live in a better America."
Nelba Marquez-Greene's Facebook post under the headline "From a grieving mother on Christmas Day" says she remembers giving Ana, who had beautiful caramel skin and a shock of curly brown hair, two hugs before she got on the school bus on Dec. 14, the day a 20-year-old broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire, killing 20 students and six staff members.
Marquez-Greene said no lockdown procedure in the world could have stopped someone with the kind of gunpower and ammunition carried by the shooter.
"I have a Christmas wish," she wrote. "I want to live in a better America — one where our leaders are working collaboratively for the good of the people and the protection of children. Please! No more! Ya basta!."
Marquez-Greene then pays tribute to her daughter.
"Sweet Ana, I know our healing as a family will come only from our heavenly Father. I know this is your best Christmas yet — at home with our Lord and Saviour. As your mom I just wish we could have had a few more to celebrate here on earth. You died so needlessly.
"For Christmas I bought you a Kindle Fire HD the night before you died. My Christmas promise to you now is to continue to love the Lord with all my heart, mind and strength and to do whatever I can to make sure more kids can be safe ... and to send out the message that "love wins". I still sleep with your special blanket, most nights in your bed."
Marguez-Greene then offers some advice to people reading her post. "Hug your loved ones tight! Joyous Christmas Season and a Blessed New Year to all!"
The girl and her family had only recently moved back to Connecticut after living in Winnipeg for three years.
Her father, Jimmy Greene, is a musician and professor who is well known in Winnipeg's jazz community.
Hundreds of people came together in Winnipeg last Saturday at Grant Memorial Baptist Church to mourn Ana's loss by watching her funeral on a video feed from Connecticut.