Newtown residents plead for privacy on Sandy Hook shooting anniversary
(CNN) — Newtown, Connecticut, officials met with the media on Monday to ask them to respect the town’s privacy Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School where a gunman killed 20 students and six staff members before killing himself.
Earlier that morning, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother.
“The community needs time to be alone and to reflect on our past year in a personal ways without a camera or a microphone,” First Selectman Pat Llodra said. “There’s an emotional and economic toll that we pay when the media descends on us, so we ask for your forbearance after today and respectfully request that you allow us a time of peace and quiet.”
Sirens and news trucks remind residents of that awful day nearly a year ago, Llodra told reporters.
“We don’t need to be reminded. We don’t need to re-live it,” Llodra continued. “We were hurt very badly last year as you all know… We carry it with us, so we are trying to say to the world, ‘please give us the chance to grow into that really happy healthy place that loves children and families, that has great schools.’ We know who we are, but we need you to help us get there by please staying away.”
Newtown Police Chief Mike Kehoe said that there will be extra law enforcement personnel in town over the weekend, but officials want to maintain a sense of normalcy for residents.
CNN will honor these requests and will not be in Newtown on the anniversary.
“Newtown is cracked. We’ve been through a devastating experience, and yet in the midst of those cracks, in the midst of that brokenness, you are seeing light of all kinds showing through the kindnesses from friends and neighbors, families doing amazing things, remembering and celebrating the gift lives that were lost to them,” said the Rev. Matt Crebbin, senior minister for the Newtown Congregational Church and coordinator of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association.
Also Monday, families of the victims of the shooting announced the launch of a website, MySandyHookFamily.org
“In the midst of our grief, we have come to realize that we want our loved ones to be remembered for the lives they lived and how they touched our hearts. We have been uplifted by the support of so many people and we would like to keep that spirit of unity and love alive in all we do to remember those we so dearly miss. It is with this in mind that we have created the MySandyHookFamily.org website,” Krista Rekos, whose daughter Jessica was among the victims at Sandy Hook, said at a news conference attended by many of the victims’ families.
JoAnn Bacon, mother of Charlotte Bacon, added: “This website is intended to serve as a singular place of sharing, communication, and contact with the families of those who lost their lives that day. MySandyHookFamily.org allows us, the 26 families, the opportunity to honor our loved ones in a way that feels right to each individual family.”