Dozens of families gathered in Winnipeg’s Whyte Ridge Baptist Church on Sunday to pay tribute to Ana Marquez-Greene, a six-year-old girl who was among the 20 children slain by gunfire at a Connecticut school.
The Marquez-Greene family had just moved from Winnipeg to Newtown, Conn., — the town where the rampage unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday — several months ago.
Prior to the start of Sunday's service, Pastor Terry Janke told CBC News that a family close to the girl's parents was going to read a letter from them thanking people for their support.
A CBC News reporter attended the service and said in the letter Nelba, the six-year-old's mother, said she was looking forward to meeting U.S. President Barack Obama today, to pray with him.
In the letter she continued by saying her nine-year-old son, Isaiah, who was inside the school at the time of the shooting, but was not injured, will need a lot of prayers.
It said she and her husband thank God that Isaiah "did not witness his sister's murder."
The family was also thankful to all their friends in Winnipeg and the church for its support and prayers.
They also asked the church to pray for the other parents who lost their children in Friday's massacre.
The Marquez-Greene family has shared a video of Ana and her brother on Facebook, which shows the two siblings sitting side-by-side on a piano bench.
In the video, Ana is singing while her brother is playing along.