Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Heartfelt message from Ana's mother

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THE mother of Ana Márquez-Greene issued a Christmas Day message on Facebook. Nelba Márquez-Greene worked at the University of Winnipeg before she and her husband, Jimmy Greene, formerly a University of Manitoba jazz instructor, moved their family to Connecticut. Ana, 6, was one of 20 children killed Dec. 14 by a lone gunman. Here are excerpts from the message:

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"My daughter died on Friday in the shooting in Newtown. She was six years old with beautiful caramel skin and a shock of curly brown hair. On the day she died she was wearing a long-sleeved white T-shirt with a sequined purple peace sign on the front and an Old Navy purplish grey sweatsuit with "peace" written across the leg and arm. We practised our usual routine of first hugs and then second hugs before the bus arrived. The last words I heard her speak as she got on the bus were to the driver. "There is something for you under my tree," she said excitedly. Her classmates were equally charming, funny, special kids all with their own unique gifts. Most of them are also dead. My daughter's school and staff were outstanding. They regularly practised lockdown drills. The teachers/staff died trying to protect the children or stop the gunman and the police were there within minutes. No lockdown procedure in the world could have stopped someone with that kind of power and ammunition.

"I have a Christmas wish: 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!

"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.

"Hug your loved ones tight! Joyous Christmas Season and a Blessed New Year to all!"

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 26, 2012 A4

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