Newtown's response to the Peshawar School Tragedy

An open letter from Newtown, Connecticut to victims families of the Peshawar shooting:

We the undersigned and our many neighbors extend our outstretched hands in friendship. With broken hearts, we embrace all the families who have been impacted by the barbaric, grotesque massacre at the school and college in Peshawar, this past Tuesday December 16th.

Violence unleashed with such cruelty is a horrible assault on all of humanity. Whether it happens in the United States, to any citizens of Pakistan or in another nation or upon any peoples, such violence and callousness towards the slaughter of innocence is an affront to all that we hold dear. We the undersigned are victims, clergy, first responders, activists and concerned citizens living and/or working in and near Newtown, Connecticut simply wishing to offer our most humble earnest condolences to the injured and slain. We feel your deep pain and weep with you - because we too have had our hearts broken by trauma and grief. Our friends, the undersigned from numerous locations throughout the United States weep for your slain and for all who have been traumatized by this event. We weep alongside our beloved Pakistani friends here in the United States as they are also preparing to convene memorial services in local mosques.

We weep with you Peshawar!

We weep with you Pakistan!

We weep with the Pakistani diaspora.

All souls who long for peace and safety for all people, especially our children - weep with you today Peshawar!

Our dear brothers and sisters, we hereby declare our love and kinship with you and all family members that cry out in anguish from loss of life and limb. Though we come from many backgrounds and faith traditions, we pray on this day out of a common empathy for all of you. We ask that all innocent victims be carried to a place of everlasting love suffused in supreme beauty, bliss and splendor. And may each of you be held in all comfort and compassion during this long season of bitterness and grief. You are held firmly in our prayers and in the meditations of our hearts. We shall continue to mourn with you in these coming days.

We know all too well that words will never suffice, yet we humbly testify to your shattered hearts, that it was words and prayers like these that enabled us in Sandy Hook to endure the days, weeks, months and years after the shooting.

Love can hold together even a shattered heart. We unite our hearts at this time to eradicate all acts of slaughter of the innocent and we stand firm against every wanton murder. We are ready to join with you in every worthy action that would help replace violence with peace, war with civility, bigotry with understanding, arrogance with respect and war with reconciliation.

We close with a prayer for peace and civility in Pakistan.

Respectfully Yours,

Rabbi-Hazzan Shaul Marshall Praver, Global Coalition for Peace and Civility (GCPC)

Reverend Mathew Crebbin Newtown Congregational Church, CT    

Eman Beshtawii, Director, Al Hedaya Islamic Center, Newtown, CT

Kanwal Sakhi, Director, Al Hedaya Islamic Center, Newtown, CT

The Rev. Kathleen E. Adams-Shepherd, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Newtown, CT

Rev. Leo Mcgllrath Chaplain of the Luthern Home, Southbury, CT

Pastor Mel Kawakami Newtown Methodist Church, Newtown, CT

E. Patricia Llodra First Selectman, Town of Newtown, CT

Po Murray, Chairman Newtown Action Alliance & The Newtown Foundation |   

Tim Makris, Executive Director Sandy Hook Promise,   

Ron Pinciaro, Executive Director Connecticut Against Gun Violence

Nancy Lefkowitz, Founder and Executive Director, March For Change.

Monte Frank, Founder of Team 26

Elliot Fineman, Chicago, Illinois President and Chief Executive officer National Gun Victims Action Counsel

Cantor Debbie Katchko-Grey Shearith Israel, Ridgefield, CT

Pastor Sonja Maclarly, Woodstock New York

Father Norman Guilbert Jr. Holy Family Church

Veronique Pozner, mother of Sandy Hook student, Noah Pozner

Scarlett Lewis, mother of Sandy Hook student,

Jesse Lewis and author of Nurturing -healing Love

Lois Schaffer, mother of Suzy Schaffer and author of The Unthinkable.

Veronica Marr, Newtown resident spiritual leader, Author of Motto, “Together we will birth a culture of peace.”

The Wolfman Family, Newtown, CT

Bob Praver, Activist, Scholar Glenn Cove, NY

Rosalie Newman


Newtown's response to the Dec 16th 2014 Peshawar School Shootings:

The community at Hedaya with our extended family across the leadership of Newtown CT (Elected officials, Faith Groups, Sandy Hook Promise, Newtown Action Alliance, Newtown Foundation, Connecticut Against Gun Violence and many others including the parents of victims of the Dec 2012 Sandy Hook Massacre) share in the grief of the families of Peshawar's victims in this open letter:

'You are not alone in your loss' is the message Newtown CT prepared on a banner to be carried to Peshawar by a family from our community. This banner was just delivered to the people of Peshawar through its elected officials.

The Community gathering at Hedaya on Sunday, Dec 21st 2014, articulates the response of several Faith leaders from Newtown CT to this tragedy and highlights our collective responsibility to bringing peace and comfort whenever and wherever we can.