Christmas in Sandy Hook

Christmas in Sandy Hook was different than Christmas just about anywhere else this year. It wasn’t a celebration of family, joy and gifts but a solemn day of remembrance. Some families were thankful to still be in tact but for 26 different families in the community and countless others, it was a day of unopened gifts and terrible reminders of the terror that gripped the small town of Newtown just two weeks ago.

I grew up two towns over from Newtown in Trumbull, Connecticut-about 20 minutes driving. Like everyone, I was really affected emotionally by the massacre as it could have been anywhere in America at anytime. It hit me really hard because I know the town and actually know someone who taught at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Each year for Christmas, my family does Christmas Eve in New York City where I now live. Then we go to friends in Connecticut for Christmas Day. I go to my friend Mike’s house in Southbury, Connecticut; which is on the other side of Newtown. So to get there I had to drive right through Newtown.

So I had to stop and pay homage to what happened. I spent a part of my Christmas in Sandy Hook. It was really emotional. Not just for me but to see the makeshift memorials along the road. To see the 26 candle displays in yards throughout Newtown and neighboring towns like Monroe. Some of the signs and memorials were so moving that you couldn’t help but tear up.

In downtown Sandy Hook, which is a small area of Newtown, the whole center area is a memorial. Flowers, signs, pictures and toys line the rural sidewalks in the beautiful, small New England town. It was so sad.

There weren’t any media trucks; which surprised me but there was still some traffic and a relatively large police presence. The road to Sandy Hook Elementary is still closed but you can park anywhere in town and walk to the center to visit the memorials.

The most poignant memorial I saw was just outside the center of Sandy Hook with 26 angels to memorialize the 26 people that were slain. Also, in the main memorial, all the children’s names were laid out with little toys for each. It’s hard to even write this stuff a day later, it was so hard to see and still very emotional.

I’m not even sure what I want to say here but I am glad I am writing this and I am glad I spent some time on Christmas in Sandy Hook. I think it helped me come to grips with the terrible tragedy. It is the worst thing I have ever heard and I just wish all the best to the families of the slain and the great town of Newtown and state of Connecticut.

Be thankful for your families and hug your loved ones tight. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and all the best for the coming new year.

Comments

  1. So sad, thanks for sharing and best to you for the holidays

  2. Such a sad thing…thanks for sharing your true feelings, I know it’s hard when you know someone. I’ve never been to Newtown but it looks like a nice place.

  3. Merry Christmas Lee! Great pictures!

  4. Thanks for sharing these pictures…makes me want to cry

  5. Thanks for the post. It’s a sad moment realizing how some family will be missing their loved ones.

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