Dec. 17, 2012— -- intro: Twenty bright first-graders were gunned down Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Six school staffers, including a teacher and a principal, also died. Click through to learn more about the victims Sandy Hook Elementary School.
quicklist: 1title: Noah Pozner, 6text: Noah Pozner and his twin sister, Arielle, celebrated their 6th birthdays Nov. 20. Arielle, who was in another class, survived.
Pozner's uncle Alexis Haller told The Associated Press that he was "smart as a whip," gentle but with a rambunctious streak.
Haller told the AP that Pozner called Arielle his best friend.
"They were always playing together, they loved to do things together," Haller said. When his mother, a nurse, would tell him she loved him, he would answer, "Not as much as I love you, Mom."
Pozner was buried Monday afternoon.
quicklist: 2title: Emilie Parker, 6text: Emilie Parker, the little girl with the blond hair and bright-blue eyes, would have been one of the first to comfort her classmates at Sandy Hook Elementary School, had a gunman's bullets not claimed her life, her father said.
"My daughter Emilie would be one of the first ones to be standing and giving support to all the victims because that's the kind of kid she is," her father, Robbie Parker, said as he fought back tears, telling the world about his "bright, creative and loving" daughter who was one of the 20 young victims in the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
"She always had something kind to say about anybody," her father said. "We find comfort reflecting on the incredible person Emilie was and how many lives she was able to touch."
Emilie was a budding artist who carried her markers and pencils everywhere. Her grandfather recently died and Emilie paid tribute to him by slipping a special card she had drawn into his casket, her father said.
Alissa Parker, Emilie's mother, told Katie Couric she doesn't know how to answer people anymore when they ask how she is doing.
"I feel like the only way to move forward," she said, "is to think about these beautiful children and their lives and be so thankful that we had them."
Emilie will be buried in the family's hometown of Ogden, Utah, later this week.WATCH: Emilie's father speaks about his daughter
quicklist: 3title: Jack Pinto, 6 text: Jack's funeral was Monday. Jack was a fan of New York Giants and their wide receiver Victor Cruz, who paid tribute to the 6-year-old during a game against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 16.
Cruz wrote on his cleats, "Jack Pinto, My Hero."
"I also spoke to an older brother and he was distraught as well. I told him to stay strong and I was going to do whatever I can to honor him," Cruz said after the game. "He was fighting tears and could barely speak to me."
Cruz said he plans to give the gloves he wore during the game to the boy's family, and spend some time with them.
The family released a statement saying, Jack was an "inspiration to all those who knew him."
"Jack loved school, reading, wrestling, skiing and football. Most of all Jack loved to play with his friends and keep up with his big brother," his family said. "He had a wide smile that would simply light up the room and while we are all uncertain as to how we will ever cope without him, we choose to remember and celebrate his life. Not dwelling on the loss but instead on the gift that we were given and will forever cherish in our hearts forever."
quicklist: 4title: Jesse Lewis, 6text: Like most first-graders, Jesse Lewis was excited for the holiday season. The 6-year-old, who was in Victoria Soto's class, couldn't wait to go to school on Friday because they were making gingerbread houses, and his father had planned to join them.
Jesse was killed Friday morning while trying to lead other children to safety.
"He ran into the hallway to help when he heard the shots," his obituary said. "His family knows in their hearts that was the way he lived his life -- fearless, full of courage and strength."
The little boy who had the "perfect combination of courage and faith" was always ready for the next adventure.
One picture remains etched into his family's mind forever, they said:
"[It is] one of him in his boots, no socks, ripped jeans, and a T-shirt, an army helmet strapped to his head, a smudge of dirt on his cheek, tromping through the pasture on his way from one adventure to another."
quicklist: 5title: Victoria Soto, 27text: Victoria Soto, 27, one of the adult victims, loved being a teacher, her cousin Jim Wiltsie told ABC News' Chris Cuomo Friday. Indeed, her first-grade students' safety was such a high priority that Soto reportedly gave her life.
"The family was informed that she was trying to shield, get her children into a closet and protect them from harm, and by doing that put herself between the gunman and the children," Wiltsie said. "And that's when she was tragically shot and killed.
"I'm very proud to have known Vicki," Wiltsie added. "Her life dream was to be a teacher. And her instincts kicked in when she saw there was harm coming to her students.
"It brings peace to know that Vicki was doing what she loved, protecting the children," he said. "And in our eyes, she is a hero."
quicklist: 6title: Grace Audrey McDonnell, 7text: The artistic 7-year-old dreamed of being a painter when she grew up and living on Martha's Vineyard.
"We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from so many people," her family said in a statement. "Our daughter Grace was the love and light of our family. Words cannot adequately express our sense of loss."
quicklist: 7title: Catherine Hubbard, 6text: As with so many, the ABC family has been touched directly by the tragedy in Sandy Hook.
One of the young victims, Catherine Hubbard, is the niece of an ABC News employee.
Here is a statement from the family:"We are greatly saddened by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Catherine Violet and our thoughts and prayers are with the other families who have been affected by this tragedy.
"We appreciate the overwhelming support from our community that we have received over the past 24 hours.
"We also wish to express our gratitude for all of the emergency responders who responded to this tragic incident as well as the teachers and staff of Sandy Hook School. Our local police and fire departments and the other agencies who are working on this continuing investigation have been incredible.
"We also want to recognize outstanding work of The Connecticut State Police who have been supporting us from the very beginning of this ordeal and continue to provide unwavering support to our family.
"We have no further statement to make at this time and ask that we be afforded the opportunity to grieve with our friends and family.
"We ask that you continue to pray for us and the other families who have experienced loss in this tragedy.
"Jennifer and Matthew Hubbard"
quicklist: 8title: Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47text: Hochsprung became principal of Sandy Hook two years ago and, by all accounts, was devoted to the students and teachers at her school.
"When we had our orientation, you could tell she loved her job," Brenda Lediski, a parent, told ABC News by phone.
Hochsprung was in the process of pursuing her Ph.D. through Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y.
Her enrollment was a "testament to her own personal mission to continue learning and lead by example," her obituary said.
Kristin Larson, a former PTA secretary, told the Boston Globe that Hochsprung was "always enthusiastic, always smiling, always game to do anything."
"When I saw her at the beginning of the school year, she was hugging everyone," Larson said.
The moments Hochsprung came into contact with the gunman were heard over the school intercom and might have saved lives.
It's not clear whether the intercom was turned on purposefully to alert the school's staff to the menace or whether the intercom was on for morning announcements.
Either way, it caught the initial moments of Adam Lanza's lethal fury and gave teachers and others life saving moments to lock their doors and try to hide their children.
quicklist: 9title: Mary Sherlach, School Psychologisttext: Sherlach had been a school psychologist at Sandy Hook since August of 1994 and had experience working on committees devoted to school safety, according to her website.
Sherlach and her husband, Bill, had been married for 31 years and have two adult daughters.
"I truly enjoy working with the SHS staff, parents and children," she wrote. "And am always ready to assist in problem solving, intervention and prevention."
Her son-in-law, Eric Schwartz, said Sherlach believed she was "doing God's work by helping children."
quicklist: 10title: Lauren Rousseau, 30text: Lauren Rousseau worked as a substitute teacher before landing a full time position this year at Sandy Hook Elementary School. For the 30-year-old, it was a dream job.
"We will miss her terribly," Lauren's mother, Teresa Rousseau , told the Delaware County Times. "And will take comfort knowing that she had achieved that dream."
quicklist: 11title: Olivia Engel, 6text: The 6-year-old was just learning the rosary and would lead the family in grace every night before dinner, the New Haven Register reported. Her favorite colors were pink and purple. She leaves behind a 3-year-old brother.
Her family released a statement describing Olivia as "creative" and a fan of craft projects and art class. She was a patient big sister to 3-year-old Brayden.
"Olivia was smart, bubbly, and unbelievably entertaining. Her physical loss will be felt every day by those who loved her most, but her sparkly spirit will live on," the statement read.
quicklist: 12title: Rachel D'Avino, 29text: Rachel D'Avino was a behavioral therapist who had only recently started working at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to Lissa Lovetere, a friend who is arranging her funeral planned for Friday.
D'Avino's boyfriend, Anthony Cerritelli, planned to ask her to marry him on Christmas Eve, Lovetere told The Associated Press.
Police told her family that she shielded one of the students during the rampage, Lovetere told the AP.
quicklist: 13title: Jessica Rekos, 6text: Jessica's parents, Rich and Krista Rekos, released a statement describing their daughter's love of horses. When she turned 10, they promised, she could have a horse of her own. For Christmas, she asked Santa for new cowgirl boots and hat.
"She devoted her free time to watching horse movies, reading horse books, drawing horses, and writing stories about horses," her family said in the statement.
The family described Jessica as "a creative, beautiful little girl who loved playing with her little brothers, Travis and Shane.
"We cannot imagine our life without her. We are mourning her loss, sharing our beautiful memories we have of her, and trying to help her brother Travis understand why he can't play with his best friend," they said.
quicklist: 14title: Ana Marquez-Greene, 6text: The 6-year-old, with her beaming smile, was the daughter of a jazz musician. She sang in a home video with her brother, who was also at Sandy Hook Elementary School during the massacre.
The girl's grandmother, Elba Marquez, told The Associated Press the family moved to Connecticut just two months ago, drawn from Canada, in part, by Sandy Hook's sterling reputation. The grandmother's brother, Jorge Marquez, is mayor of a Puerto Rican town.
quicklist: 15title: Charlotte Bacon, 6text: Charlotte dreamed of being a veterinarian when she grew up.
The 6-year-old "never met an animal she didn't love," her obituary said.
The lively first-grader also enjoyed practicing Taekwondo with her brother, Guy, and her father.
Charlotte's parents, Joann and Joel, had lived in Newtown for four or five years, Joann's brother John Hagen, of Nisswa, Minn., told Newsday.
"She was going to go some places in this world," Hagen told the newspaper. "This little girl could light up the room for anyone."
quicklist: 16title: Daniel Barden, 7 text: Daniel was the youngest of three children, his family said in a statement. The family described Daniel as "fearless in the pursuit of happiness in life."
"Words really cannot express what a special boy Daniel was. Such a light. Always smiling, unfailingly polite, incredibly affectionate, fair and so thoughtful towards others, imaginative in play, both intelligent and articulate in conversation: in all, a constant source of laughter and joy," the family said.
Barden's parents and older brother, James, appeared on the television program "Katie" on Monday to talk about Daniel, the special little boy with an "old soul".
"He was just so sweet and kind and thoughtful," said James, who is just a few years older than his brother.
A celebration of Daniel's life will be held Tuesday at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. A funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.
quicklist: 17title: Josephine Gay, 7text: Josephine Gay celebrated her 7th birthday Dec. 11. Friends and family describe the first-grader, who had a "joyful and giving spirit," as "a gift."
Josephine had two sisters, Sophia and Marie. Friends and family have been asked to wear Josephine's favorite color, purple, in her honor.
A wake is scheduled for Friday at St. Rose of Lima Church. A mass will follow Saturday.
quicklist: 18title: Chase Kowalski, 7text: "You couldn't think of a better child," neighbor Kevin Grimes told The Associated Press.
Grimes told the AP that he was recently speaking with Chase and the little boy was telling him about winning his first mini-triathlon.
The athletic first grader ran in community road races and loved baseball, his family said in an obituary.
"He could often be found in the yard playing ball, riding his bike or quad," his obituary said,
The Kowalski family has set up the Chase Kowalski Scholarship Fund at People's Bank in his memory.
quicklist: 19title: James Mattioli, 6text: At nearly 7 years old, James Mattioli, who his family called 'J', loved to sing at the top of his lungs, ham sandwiches from Subway and being his father's "mini-me".
"James was especially thoughtful and considerate, always the first to welcome guests at the backdoor with a hug and his contagious smile," an obituary for the first grader said.
James loved doing crafts with his older sister, Anna, who was helping her brother advance his reading skills.
And the first grader was caring, recently foregoing a gift for himself so he could use the money to buy his grandfather a mug for Christmas.
James' mother, Cindy, is a native of Sherrill, N.Y.
"It's a terrible tragedy, and we're a tight community," Mayor William Vineall told the Utica Observer-Dispatch. "Everybody will be there for them, and our thoughts and prayers are there for them," he added.
quicklist: 20title: Dylan Hockley, 6text: The boy with the beaming smile was born in Winchester, England.
The Hockley family moved from England to Connecticut two years ago and found Sandy Hook Elementary School to be a great fit for their two boys.
Dylan had special needs, his parents, Ian and Nicole Hockley, told the Connecticut Post.
"We do not and shall never regret this choice," the Hockleys said. "Our boys have flourished here and our family's happiness has been limitless."
Dylan was learning how to read and looked up to his older brother, Jake, the family said.
The family praised principal Dawn Hochsprung, psychologist Mary Sherlach, Dylan's teacher, Victoria Soto, and his special education teacher, Anne Marie Murphy, for truly knowing their son. All four educators died in the massacre.
quicklist: 21title: Anne Marie Murphy, 52 text: Anne Marie Murphy was employed as a special education teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The devoted mother and teacher reportedly died with one of her beloved students, Dylan Hockley, in her arms.
"We take great comfort in knowing that Dylan was not alone when he died," Dylan's parents told the Connecticut Post.
Murphy will be buried on Thursday in Somers, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, her family asked that donations be made to Autism Speaks.
quicklist: 22title: Avielle Richman, 6text: At the age of 6, Avielle had a "spitfire personality" and loved to tell stories, her obituary said.
"She offered her heart to everyone. With an infectious smile and peals of laughter, people were drawn to her beautiful spirit, which will live on in all of our hearts," the first grader's family wrote.
Avielle had a diverse set of passions, from music to archery and kung fu.
quicklist: 23title: Benjamin Wheeler, 6 text: Ben looked up to his 9-year-old brother, Nate.
Before he left for school Friday, Ben told his mother: "I still want to be an architect, but I also want to be a paleontologist, because that's what Nate is going to be and I want to do everything Nate does," his obituary said.
He worked hard inside of the classroom, and brought that same drive to his extracurricular activities, swimming and soccer.
"He loved the local soccer program, often running across the field long after it was actually necessary," his family said.
Ben, whose parents are musicians, had recently performed at a piano recital.
quicklist: 24title: Allison Wyatt, 6text: Allison had a knack for connecting with people, no matter how short of time she spent with them, her parents said.
"She loved her family and teachers especially, but would often surprise us with random acts of kindness - once even offering her snacks to a complete stranger on a plane," her parents, Cheyanne and Ben Wyatt said in a statement.
The first grader loved to draw and taped rows of pictures to the walls in her home, turning it into her own "art studio".
"She loved to laugh and was developing her own wonderful sense of humor that ranged from just being a silly 6-year old to coming up with observations that more than once had us crying with laughter," her parents said.
"Allison made the world a better place for six, far too short years and we now have to figure out how to move on without her. She was a sweet, creative, funny, intelligent little girl who had an amazing life ahead of her. Our world is a lot darker now that she's gone. We love and miss her so much.
quicklist: 25title: Victims of Sandy Hook Shootingtext: This page will be updated as more information and images emerge of the victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in coming days, here are the names of the other students killed:
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6