This is a sad post that I haven’t wanted to write. My spirits have been heavy ever since I heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on December 14 and while my heart goes out to all the victims, their loved ones and a community shattered, one victim’s name stood out to me as the editor of a blog covering Asian Americans: Madeleine F. Hsu, aged 6.
Her outfits matched her personality: sunny floral dresses. “She was a sweet, unique, bright, sparkling, determined little girl,” her family said in a statement about the first-grader. “She was an avid reader who loved running and dancing. She was a born leader.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Madeleine was a caring young girl, who reassured a younger boy not to be scared to go to school:
Since the shooting, Karen Dryer has done her best to keep the news from her 5-year-old son, Logan. He was already anxious enough about going to kindergarten. For months, she’s had to reassure him there was nothing to be afraid of.
How will she tell her son that two of the people who made it a little easier — the girls who accompanied him on the bus to Sandy Hook Elementary School and told him to be brave — were killed there Friday with 18 other children and six adults?
Madeleine Hsu, shy and tiny, wore flowery dresses and lived across the street on Moccasin Trail. Caroline Previdi, bold and green-eyed, lived down the block.
They were both 6, a whole year older than Logan. They would meet him at the bus stop on the corner and hold his hand as he climbed onto the bus. They sat next to him during the short ride.
The girls would tell Logan, who trembled during panic attacks, that school was fun. That there was no reason to be scared.
Madeleine is remembered in the Wall Street Journal by that same neighbor as shy and quiet, but sweet.
Madeleine Hsu was shy and quiet — but she would light up around dogs.
Karen Dryer, who lived on the same street as the Hsu family, would see Madeleine’s mom waiting for her at the bus stop at 3:15 every afternoon. Dryer would wait too, for her son Logan, who is in kindergarten. Dryer usually brought the family’s golden retriever with her.
“She would come off the bus and her face would light up when she saw the dog,” Dryer said.
Her mom would give her a big squeeze, and Madeleine would hug her little sister. “She was just an absolute doll,” Dryer said. “She seemed very shy, but she was just so sweet.”
My deepest sympathies go out to the loved ones of Madeleine and all of the victims of this horrific event.
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel D’Avino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Nancy Lanza, 52
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Joy Sherlach, 56
Vicki Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6