Maui News

Hawai’i Leaders Respond to School Massacre

December 14, 2012, 3:24 PM HST
* Updated December 14, 4:26 PM
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State seal. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Flags are being flown at half staff today through Tuesday, as a mark of respect for the victims of a school shooting spree in Newtown, Connecticut.

The incident reportedly resulted in the loss of life of an estimated 20 children and eight adults, including the gunman, according to network news reports.

Governor Neil Abercrombie issued a statement today saying, “With the president, our hearts are heavy today over the loss of so many innocent lives in Connecticut. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and the people of Connecticut in this time of tragedy. It is horrific that anyone would take away so many young lives. Schools should always be a safe and nurturing place for our children and educators.”

The order for flags to be lowered was initiated by President Barack Obama who called for all flags of the United States to be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the federal government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories and possessions until sunset Dec. 18, 2012.

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The president also directed that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

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Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono also expressed grief after learning of the tragic events.

“I join President Obama in heartfelt grief for the victims of today’s horrific event at Sandy Hook Elementary School and in asking the country to come together to take meaningful action to ensure this type of tragedy does not happen again. As the president stated, ‘We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years.’”

She added, “Our thoughts and prayers go to the people of Newtown, Connecticut. Let us now unite as a nation to support the families, students, teachers and staff affected by this senseless act.”

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