Family, friends remember Jesse Lewis - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Sandy Hook: Tributes to the Lost

Family, friends remember Jesse Lewis

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Jesse Lewis Jesse Lewis
NEWTOWN, CT (WFSB) -

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.

Jesse Lewis was six years old when his life was taken that December morning. His family refuses to let anger lead their life. Instead they choose love like Jesse would want them to.

At the Lewis family farm in Newtown, the horses graze, a fort still hangs in the tree and the dogs play. However, something has changed everything.

"He would enter a room and say 'heeeerrreee's Jessie,'"said his mother Scarlett Lewis.

Jesse Lewis was a ball of energy.

"His favorite toys were yellow rubber ducks and army men," Scarlett Lewis said.

Jesse lived on the farm with his mother and loved pretending he was a soldier, who was protecting the farm. He would also spend time with his dad, who shared custody. The family misses everything about him. 

Jesse and his mother would set up their easels next to each other and paint. The art she said helped them connect.  

In the final moments of Jesse's life, investigators said he helped save his fellow classmates. The killer's gun jammed, while at the classroom door, Jesse yelled 'run'. At least six of his classmates got out safely. 

"To use your dying breath to try to save your friends is really remarkable and I'm very proud of him," Scarlett Lewis said.

The family believes Jesse is now guiding them through the healing process.

"When I came back we found a message that Jessie had written on the kitchen chalkboard," Scarlett Lewis said.

On that chalk board, Jesse wrote three words he never used. In fact, they are phonetically written, "Nurturing, Healing, Love." Three words that now define how Jesse's family is choosing to heal.

"I said if you would please consciously change one angry thought a day to a loving thought you will make your life better," Scarlett Lewis said. "You will make the lives of those in your inner circle better. And through the ripple effect you will make the world a better place." 

The family launched the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. It's mission is to consciously change angry thoughts into loving ones because it's a choice.

"I get very angry and I have to remind myself that forgiveness is cutting the cord to pain and it's for me," Scarlett Lewis said. "I do it for JT. I do it for my family. I do it for our life and I do it for Jessie."

Even the sign that now hangs outside the family farm shares the message. And while they still have the reminders such as Remy, who played with Jesse all of the time. The two older brothers believe Jesse is still part of their lives.

"I think he's looking down on us really and just smiling," said brother, David.

A smile that keeps Jesse's spirit alive and the family focused on healing and helping others.

"Compassion is feeling empathy for somebody and then acting on it," Scarlett Lewis said.

For more information on or to register for Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, by clicking here or by calling Eyewitness News at 1-866-539-9372 for a mailing address.

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