Newtown families on their lives and mission, one year later

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- On Saturday, flags in Connecticut will fly at half staff to honor the 20 first-graders and six adults gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

As the anniversary approached, CBS News spoke to Nicole Hockley, the mother of 6-year-old Dylan, Nelba Marquez Green, mother of 6-year-old Ana, and Bill Sherlach, husband of school psychologist Mary Sherlach, about their lives without their loved ones.


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Nelba Marquez Green, Nicole Hockley and Bill Sherlach
CBS News
 NICOLE HOCKLEY: For the one-year mark, it's going to be very private, just the three of us. And we're actually -- my husband and I are talking to Jake in terms of how does he want to mark that day and remember Dylan. So we're going to follow his lead on that.

ELAINE QUIJANO: At this point, how is everyone doing?

HOCKLEY: Jake has his good days and his bad days, just like my husband and I do. But he is loved and he is supported. He misses his little brother terribly. When he's having a bad day, I just focus on the sort of person he's going to be when he grows up, or that I hope so many children in our community become, in terms of their strengths and resiliency from having experienced the worst that can happen.

BILL SHERLACH: I gotta tell you something, this group of people, this club that we have locally, what an incred-- I mean I draw so much strength from these people. I mean, I knew my wife for 36 years and three days. These people lost 6- and 7-year-olds. I can't -- can't imagine what they go through. Just the strength is just amazing. And that -- that helps me.

 QUIJANO: They help you?

SHERLACH: Oh, they have no idea how much. I pray for them every night.

NELBA MARQUEZ GREENE: Nobody wants to be a part of this club, and unfortunately this -- this club is growing. But nobody wants to be Nancy Lanza, either. And I've received hundreds of letters from parents saying, "I need help for my child. How do I get it? Where do I turn?" I know that there are parents out there who want help and just haven’t been able to get it. So I think part of our mission now is to bring awareness. I would like to see a nation where parents who want help for their kids can get it, without fearing a stigma or repercussions, either at school or in the community, but just really, just from an honest place, get the help that they need for their kids, because there are so many who don’t.


Newtown officials say there will be no formal ceremony marking the anniversary Saturday. At 9:30 a.m., about the time the shooting began, Connecticut's governor has called for bells to toll statewide, 26 times, for each of the Sandy Hook victims.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.

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