As we approach the one-year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, where on Dec. 14, 2012, 20 children and six adults lost their lives, Eyewitness News will share a little about each person's life and how their families are honoring their legacies.
Eyewitness News spoke with the mother of Jessica Rekos, who was a special little girl that has brought people together from both sides of the country to support the things she loved.
Jessica Rekos was proud the day she won a blue ribbon in a horse show, so proud she clipped it to her shirt and wore it the whole day. She started taking lessons at the age of 5 and told her mother, Krista Rekos, she was going to "ride forever."
Krista Rekos said she was still devastated at the loss of her daughter, but discussed how difficult it has been when a playground was built in her honor in Fairfield.
"I miss her laughter, her jokes, her giggles and how much fun she thought life was," Krista Rekos said.
While only 6 years old, her parents said she had an answer for everything. They called Jessica Rekos, their "little CEO," for the way she carefully thought out and planned everything.
Jessica Rekos loved her family, including her little brothers Travis and Shane. Travis was going to start kindergarten this fall and she would start second grade. The two of them had a plan to hold hands, walk up the bus steps together and sit together.
Jessica Rekos also loved animals. And that's why the family is using donations in her memory to support several charities dedicated to animals.
They have created Team Jessica Rekos and that team has completed two Ragnar Relays, one on Cape Cod and the other in California. During the two races, the team has raised more than $50,000.
Her parents said Jessica Rekos loved horses. She watched horse movies, read horse books, drew horses and wrote stories about horses.
Her other passions were doing research on Orca whales, according to Jessica's parents and she stated "her dream was to see a real one." Thankfully Jessica Rekos realized her dream in October when she went to Sea World.
Jessica Rekos was honored this summer by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation with commemorative plaques. The plagues have been placed on over a dozen whale vessels from New Jersey to Maine.
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