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    Posted January 14, 2013 by
    Perdido Beach, Alabama
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Newtown school shooting: Thoughts and tributes

    More from shelley7841

    Sandy Hook Memorial Dedication in Lillian, Alabama


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     shelley7841 told us, 'We wanted to send video so that the victims families in Connecticut would know what even small communities like ours, so far away, are still impacted by this tragedy. '
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Local artist Shelley Smith created a local Sandy Hook Memorial in Lillian, AL on the Gulfcoast. She woke 2 days before Christmas with the idea to do something positive in light of this tragic situation. Christmas, such a time for children and joy, seemed less than joyous, and this was a way for her to work through her own grief and provide the community with a place to vent their own and find peace. The memorial is called "Kindergarten" which literally transalates to "Garden of Children". There are 27 welded metal flowers for each of the 27 victims. There is one single bird flying over the garden signifying peace. They are made from recycled 55 gallon drums. The sign behind the metal flower garden has the name of each victim and was handpainted by a local 13 year old, Anna Lundgren. This past Saturday a dedication was made for the Memorial and all the victims names were read, environmentally sound balloons were released and local musician Jon Cook (who grew up near Newtown) played "Fragile" by Sting. 13 year old Anna Lundgren read the names of the victims and an excerpt from Longfellows, "Flowers de Luce". The artist discussed the purpose of the Garden adding that anyone from the community was welcome to "add" to the garden...to plant something in memory of any person loss or tragedy. Therefore allowing the garden "to grow" and become a place that signifies comfort and peace for anyone in the area.
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