Assignment: Open Story: Tributes for Newtown
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Created December 19, 2012 by
(CNN) -- It’s a story that left people across the country and the world completely stunned. Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, which left 20 schoolchildren and six teachers and administrators dead, was as heartbreaking as it was incomprehensible.
And so, as people found themselves struggling to cope with the news, they began to honor the victims of Newtown, Connecticut, in their own special ways. People crafted memorials and sports teams paid homage to lives cut short. Some offered prayers, and others promised never to forget to names of the dead.
"I couldn't just sit and do nothing to help heal, but this – this I could do,” said Megan Clark, an Iowa artist and mother of two who drew a dove with the victims’ names forming the wings. "I wanted to create something without dates, without explanation. I wanted it to be filled with emotion, peace, hope and love."
For 13-year-old Jesse McKenzie Bailey of Hendersonville, Tennessee, making Christmas angels to represent each child was the answer. "I do think the angels are helping her deal with [the tragedy], even though it may be making her sad," said Bailey's mother, Kim Edwards. "She could've easily turned away from it, and went about her day as usual ... I am actually glad that she is feeling this grief, because I want her to care about what happens to people."
CNN highlighted some of the memorials that strangers created to honor the victims in an article on Tuesday, and since that time dozens more stories have emerged of people paying tribute in public and private forums. People shared messages in the sand, unique acts of kindness, and poems for the Connecticut town.
Explore the interactive above to see some of the heartwarming, creative and moving ways that people are honoring Newtown. If you have created your own memorial, you can add your photos and videos here.