New Memorial for the Sandy Hook Shooting

NBC News; An image of the Sandy Hook memorial in its peaceful location

NBC News; An image of the Sandy Hook memorial in its peaceful location

Cate Howard

Not far from the new school, the Sandy Hook memorial pays tribute to the 26 staff and students who lost their lives during the terrible event that occurred on December 14, 2012. 

“It just takes your breath away,” said Nora Smith, resident of a nearby county.  

The memorial can be seen from the new school as the trees have fallen due to the seasons changing. They built the school after they took down the previous one due to the shooting, not wanting the students to have to walk down the same halls their peers lost their lives in. 

A small sycamore tree was planted in the center of a peaceful water feature representing the adolescence of the students that had passed. Their names are engraved on the small stone wall around the water and benches were placed allowing people to sit and take it all in. 

There was no grand opening of the memorial due to the town’s commitment to mark any anniversaries of the event with quiet reflection.  

“I think that the memorial is so perfectly appointed in honoring and providing a place of contemplation and reflection for a day that really changed the country,” said Jennifer Hubbard, mother of Catherine Hubbard who lost her life. 

The SWA Group that designed the memorial notes that, “Visitors are encouraged to give a candle or a flower to the water, which will carry the offering across the space in an act of bridging the deceased and the living.”  

While most view the memorial to be a peaceful remembrance, Newtown’s top elected official, Dan Rosenthal seems to also see a different view. 

“You’re standing at this water feature and the magnitude … There’s 26 capstones on the water’s edge, It’s pretty overwhelming.” Rosenthal noted. 

The memorial is a piece that makes the mind think and remember and that is exactly what it is supposed to do.  

Newtown’s website has all 150+ submissions they received and their different phases of finding the perfect design. They also mention their overall mission for this memorial which “honors and celebrates those 26 who died as a result of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and serves to provide comfort to those who loved and were touched by them.” 

This is not the only positive light that has been shed in the aftermath of the shooting but simply the most recent. Sandy Hook Promise has dedicated their time to destroy gun violence in schools and spread awareness. 

The plaque at the front of the memorial has a quote from former President Barack Obama that reads,  

“I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope it helps for you to know that you’re not alone in your grief; that our world, too, has been torn apart; that across this land of ours, we have wept with you,” said Obama.