Michelle Obama Addresses Newtown Tragedy in Open Letter

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A week after the devastating Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adult staffers, Michelle Obama has published an open letter addressing the tragedy in Connecticut's Hartford Courant.

"As a mother of two young daughters, my heart aches for you and your families. Like so many Americans, I wish there were something — anything — I could do or say to ease your anguish," the First Lady writes in Friday's edition of the newspaper.

"But I know that I cannot begin to imagine the depths of your grief. I know that for many of you, the pain you are enduring right now seems unbearable; and many of you may be asking yourselves, how can we go on — as families and as a community? But I also know that we have already begun to see the answer to that question in the countless acts of courage, kindness and love here in Newtown and across America."

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Friday at 9:30 ET, there will be a national moment of silence at the urging of Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy. Bells will chime 26 times, once for each of the victims.

The White House said President Obama will also observe the moment from Washington.

"As my husband has said, in the coming weeks, he will use all the powers of his office to engage citizens from across this country to find ways to prevent tragedies like this one," Michelle Obama says in her letter. "And please know that every minute of every day, we are thinking of you, and praying for you, and holding you and your families in our hearts as you begin the slow and wrenching work of healing and moving forward."

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