NEWTOWN — Saturday will be the seven-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy. It’s a day by marked by solemn remembrances and personal reflection. Saturday is the day when the lives of 27 people were taken in 2012.
That includes 20 students who were inside the Sandy Hook School. As we drove around town, there was a feeling of palpable feeling of sadness.
“Those people will suffer forever and they’ll never forget it,” said Chuck Fulkerson.
Fulkerson rings for the Salvation Army red kettle drive. He’s a nearly 30 year Newtown resident. He used to deliver flowers.
“I can remember delivering to a father whose son was killed,” Fulkerson recalled.
The tragedy opened wounds that perhaps even Father Time can’t heal.
“I think a lot of people feel we want to move beyond this,” added Fulkerson.
Residents want to move forward, but with a purpose. A permanent Sandy Hook memorial is planned for Dec 2021. It will be a place of peace and reflection.
“The design itself is a really beautiful design,” said Dan Krause, who Chairs the Memorial Commission. His daughter was second grader at Sandy Hook School in 2012.
“It becomes ingrained in your DNA as to an experience that you had it shapes you it changes you it affects you,” remarked Krause.
The memorial will change the landscape on Riverside Road less than a mile from the former Sandy Hook School. The design is finalized and the land is secured. Funding and approval are in the works.
“The core of the memorial aspect is the sycamore tree surrounded by water,” said Krause.
The seven-year anniversary marks the student victims being gone longer than they were on earth. Like 6-year-old Jesse Lewis.
“I look at him as more of a hero than anything else,” said his brother J.T. Jess yelled for his classmates to run. “In his final moments he chose to save nine of his classmates lives instead of saving his own.”
On Saturday, to assist in the healing process, the Resiliency Center of Newtown will have extended hours, and a Mass of remembrance will be held at the St. Rose of Lima Church were so many on the funerals were held.
The church is also where a cross inscribed with victims names is a permanent fixture. Back in Hartford on Saturday, flags will fly at half-staff over the state Capitol to mark the day.