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Thursday
Jun132013

Newtown Dad on First Father's Day Without Son

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a conference call Thursday, Neil Heslin, who lost his six-year-old son Jesse Lewis in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School six months ago, discussed the upcoming Father’s Day weekend -- his first without Jesse by his side.

“One of his favorite days was Father’s Day. He referred to it as ‘Daddy’s Day.’” Heslin said. “This will be the first Father’s Day to come that I’ll be without Jesse, which will be a very, very difficult time, and it also falls at the six month mark.”

Heslin described how for the past three years he and his son would celebrate Father’s Day together by attending a car show near their home, a tradition he says he’ll never do again without his son.

“If you were a father and son, you got in for free, and Jesse made that point.  He’d say ‘Jesse and Daddy here,’” Heslin said. “We’d spend the day there and he really enjoyed it.  It was something we looked forward to going and doing every year, and it’s something I don’t think I can ever bring myself to go or go to again on Father’s Day. It’s just a memory that I would like to preserve.”

Heslin teamed up with another father, Rev. Samuel Saylor, whose son was killed in Hartford, Conn., to launch the “No Father’s Day” campaign Thursday, urging people to send an e-card to members of Congress reminding them that many fathers and children are unable to celebrate this holiday due to deaths caused by gun violence.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio