There are many faces and photos bearing witness to the past few days, but if there is one that stands out above the rest, it is this one. Her name was Victoria Soto. She was a first grade teacher at Sandy Hook elementary. Upon hearing gunfire, she hid her first graders in closets and cabinets. She convinced the shooter that all of her students were in the gym. He then shot and killed her, and moved on. She saved the lives of her entire class. And, she could have easily hidden herself as well, but she opted to make certain that her little ones survived, at the cost of her own life. This is the courage of a teacher. A teacher who loved her students enough to sacrifice her life for them. As a result, those students will live on. She should never be forgotten, by anyone. How can we honor her? A prayer for her soul, a toast to her memory, a candle lit in her name, passing her photo and story along to the world. But most of all, remember her by making her the face of this tragedy instead of the shooter.
The loss of Victoria is painful and so unfair. However, her legacy is the lives of the children she saved and her example of unselfish sacrifice. “Greater love has no man than this who lay down his life for his friends.” (Her innocent little students.)
- The Newtown Shooting: Kindergarteners and Courage (newyorker.com)
- Victoria Soto, Heroic Newtown Teacher, Sacrificed Own Life to Save Kids (gossipcop.com)
- Victoria Soto Being Called an Angel After Shielding First Graders from Gunman (americanlivewire.com)
- Hero: Vicki Soto, 27, saved first-graders from shooter; Grieving sisters honor her sacrifice (twitchy.com)
- Teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary are my heroes (greatpup.wordpress.com)
- Connecticut Shooting: Hero Teacher Died Saving Students (people.com)