Eight years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the state is set to approve funds for a victim memorial.
On Friday, the State Bond Commission is scheduled to approve $2.5 million for the construction of a memorial for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting eight years ago, which would help pay for a large portion of the $3.7 million in funds approved by local voters in April.
Next month, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held to kick off construction on the memorial, which will be located across the street from the site of the 2012 tragedy in Newtown, Conn. The location is intended to be a place of quiet reflection.
Carol Bobel, a Newtown resident and retired teacher who worked at Sandy Hook before the massacre, believes the memorial is significant because it serves as a reminder of the shooting, which murdered 20 first-graders and six educators.
“Having a location where everyone can go and just reflect would be nice,” she remarked. “It’s something we can’t forget. Now we take a look around the world. We expected (the shooting) to change things, but it didn’t.”
Construction is expected to be completed by the 10th anniversary next year, according to officials.
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“As a parent of a child murdered, I am truly thankful first to the parents who have committed an enormous amount of time to seeing this through and secondly to everyone else involved,” said Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose six-year-old daughter Ana was killed in the shooting.
“I am also grateful to provide a place for the public to come and reflect – and hope that this will allow our family to have privacy at the grave site,” she said.
A water feature with a sycamore tree in the center and the victims’ names etched on the top of the surrounding supporting wall will be the focal point of the memorial. The water flow has been created in such a way that floatable candles, flowers, and other objects will drift toward the tree and circle it. Visitors will be guided through a variety of vegetation, including flower gardens, via pathways.
The memorial was designed by Daniel Affleck, an associate principal of San Francisco-based SWA Group. “We wanted to create a space that was calm, a place of introspection, a place where people can come to connect to nature,” he said. “A location where people can come and see the. This is a condensed version of the information.