‘Remembering America’s Gun Victims’: Madeleine Hsu (Sandy Hook, Connecticut)

‘Remembering America’s Gun Victims’: Madeleine Hsu (Sandy Hook, Connecticut)

Madeleine Hsu loved music, was always in motion and had a strong personality.

“Petite princess” — that’s how her family remembers her in a tribute posted to the “My Sandy Hook Family” website.

The six-year-old was at her Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012 when a gunman broke in and shot and killed her and 20 other children and six adults there.

“We remember how life for you was a dance and a race,” the family wrote, recalling Madeleine in a story run by Connecticut-based New Haven Register. “You loved to run ahead to the next big adventure. Always running … never walking but sometimes dancing, skipping and hopping to whatever you were going to do next.”

Madeleine also enjoyed playing piano and singing along to songs on the radio.

“Everything you did, you did with enthusiasm and determination, riding your bike without training wheels the day they were taken off, jumping waves at the beach, swimming at the pool,” her family recalled. “Once you set your mind to do something, it was as good as done.”

The only time she slowed down was when she read books, including the “Pinkalicious” series.

A neighbor told The Associated Press that her mom would wait for her to be dropped off by the bus every day after school.

The neighbor, Karen Dryer, said that she would also come to the bus stop to wait for her son, who was a kindergartner at the time. Dryer was often accompanied by her dog, a golden retriever.

Madeleine “would come off the bus and her face would light up when she saw the dog,” Dryer said. “She seemed very shy, but she was just so sweet.”

A playground at the United Methodist Church of Woodbury was dedicated to Madeleine in 2014. The same year, a playground honoring her opened at West Islip Beach. A sign at the beach includes a quote attributed to her: “I love learning because I love to read.”

* Adapted from the New Haven Register tribute on Madeleine Hsu


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