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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

    The Sandy Hook Memorial Dedication "Kindergarten"


    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

    Recently local artist Shelley Smith created an art installation in the small community of Lillian, AL on the Gulf Coast. On waking the day before Christmas Eve Smith was still overwhelmed with the tragedy that had taken place so many miles away. She immediately got to work creating 27 metal flowers, on for each victim, then creating a soaring bird over the top of the flowers signifying peace. She titled the piece, "Kindergarten" which literall means "Garden of Children". The installation took 3 solid days and over 24 hours of welding. She works with recycled 55 gallon drums and the colors of the flowers come from the various colors of the barrels. Many individuals from the small community came out to assist in "planting" the flowers, bringing more barrels, and more gas to work with. Local 13 year old Anna Lundgren painted the sign which lists all of the victims. This past Saturday the piece was dedicated and many people from the community attended . The event included the explanation of the piece by Smith, as well as music by local musician Jon Cook who played "Fragile" by Sting. Cook grew up just miles from Newtown and offered his services. Anna Lundgren read the names which included an excerpt from the poem "Flowers de Luce" by Longfellow. Smith added that she hoped the "garden" would bring comfort and be a place of solace. She invited anyone with a loss or a remembrance to plant a real flower or shrub in the garden so that is would quite literally.....grow.
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