Several hundred people attended a public memorial service for the 6-year-old, Emilie Parker, Thursday night at the local high school. Emilie’s parents were high school sweethearts there. Robbie Parker, Emilie’s father, broke down several times during the service. He managed to thank everyone for their support, and also spoke about why this tragedy has affected so many people-
I slowly began to realize that even though this is a very personal tragedy and internal things for us, I started to really feel how much this has touched not only the families and the other loved ones we knew in the area, but how it touched everyone everywhere. “All of us know someone,” he said. “All of us have a son or daughter or a nephew or a cousin or somebody that is really close to us. All of us feel connected to children and those who help children.”
Lanterns were lit and released for each of the 26 Sandy Hook Elementary school victims.
Emilie’s father then released a final pink lantern- Emilie’s favorite color. The public is invited to wear pink and line the streets for Saturday’s funeral procession.
Parker also said that he has been humbled by the “countless kind gestures, words and prayers” since the tragedy.
“Remember these beautiful children; keep them close to our hearts,” Robbie Parker said in a statement Tuesday to NBC News. “Do not let their bright shining faces become extinguished. Let us do everything in our power to ensure their light will continue to shine brighter and brighter in all we do to remember them.”
The Parkers planned a viewing for Friday and funeral Saturday for their daughter in Ogden, Utah, where the family lived before moving to Newtown, Conn.
Here is the official statement from the Parker family following Emilie’s death:
We have been very humbled at the response received over the past few days and by the countless kind gestures, words and prayers offered to every family of every victim. I am grateful that the words spoken on Saturday night have found a way to be of comfort to some. The numerous requests o learn more about our dear Emilie have been truly humbling. Although no one can be prepared at a time like this, I do know for certain that it is imperative that we all spend more time with our families and focus on those who are most previous in our lives. May we use all our energy and strength to overcome this terrible tragedy. May we focus our energy on those who were taken from us and let their memories inspire us to do good. May we look for opportunities to give service and work toward bettering our communities. I feel that if we can do these things we will again feel empowered, and we will make a difference. Remember these beautiful children; keep them close to our hearts. Do not let their bright, shining faces become extinguished. Let us do everything in our power to ensure their light will continue to shine brighter and brighter in all we do to remember them.
Emilie Alice Parker
Emilie Alice Parker was a beautiful person. She came into this world, May 12, 2006. She was tragically taken from us December 14, only 6 years later. Despite her short time here on earth, her life was full. Full of love, full of compassion, full of charity, full of enthusiasm, full of joy, and full of gifts given to her by Heavenly Father that she shared with everyone fortunate enough to cross her path.
Emilie was quick to strike up a conversation, with anyone, anywhere. She could always be found with her markers, colored pens, and paper, because as she put it,” I have so many ideas of things to draw and it is hard to remember them all.” She also expressed her artistic abilities in her paintings, ceramics, and fashion, as she always wanted to be fancy.
Emilie loved to read. She loved to read stories, not only with her mom and dad, but she could often be found with her sisters, Madeline and Samantha, dressed in costumes, reading stories with them. Her sisters looked up to her and sought her out for comfort when they needed it. Emilie always wanted to help people feel better. Her compassion and charity was exemplified by her hugs, the cards she would make, and her statements that, “I wish everybody could just be happy.”
“She was our princess here on earth, and now her angel up in heaven. May her life and example continue to live on in all of us.”- Her loving parents, Robbie and Alyssa.
The family will receive friends at Myers Mortuary, 845 Washington Boulevard, Ogden, Utah, Friday, December 21, from 5 to 8pm. Services will be held at the Rock Cliff Stake Center, 1000 Suncrest Drive, Ogden, Utah, Saturday, December 22, at 10am.
Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Avenue, is in charge of arrangements.