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Memorial for Newtown Shooting Victims Forms in East Hampton

Twenty-six Christmas trees with the names of the victims set up on village green.

A temporary memorial for the 26 victims of the Newtown school shooting is being erected in East Hampton.

Twenty-six Christmas trees with the names of each of the victims will be placed near the Hook Mill, according to Kathy Byrnes, who coordinated the memorial with Gerry Mooney, whom she works with at Windmill Village.

Mayor Paul Rickenbach Jr. and village administrator Larry Cantwell gave Byrnes the go-ahead as soon as she asked permission to use the village-owned property this morning, she said on Monday afternoon.

"They were very supportive. We told them that people in our community needed a place to gather and grieve," she said, adding that she was inspired by the Christmas tree memorials that had been erected in Newtown this weekend.

The mayor said he felt the memorial will give residents and passer-bys the opportunity to "pause and reflect on that tragedy."

"It just brings a little bit of the ability and caring and unselfishness from our community reaching out in a quiet way," Rickenbach continued. "I think it speaks volumes about the community and who we are."

Chris Diamond, who sells Christmas trees in the village, donated the trees, and Mooney, Joe Warren and Cesar and Geno Gonzalez gave their time putting the trees up. Brynes ordered signs with the names of each of the victims from Sign Language.

"My personal hope is that people will start decorating them themselves," Byrnes said. "I think people need a place to go. We're devastated," she said. "I'm hoping we can get a hold of some of the clergy and we can do a prayer service."

"I have a 7 year old. I am doing everything I possibly can to shield him from this," she said, adding that she fears it may have come up at his school on Monday.

The shooting may have happened across the sound, but it's created anxiety and nervousness everywhere. "I'd love to be able to say that it will never happen here," she said. "Newtown was a community like East Hampton."

The trees are being placed in a triangle formation without lights — as the windmill is already lit up, so people should be able to see them at night. "I don't want these victims to be forgotten. I think if we put these out here, it's a reminder every day of what happened," she said.

Asked how long the trees will stay up on the village green, Byrnes said, "As long as the mayor let's us keep them up."

Like this idea? Will you go visit the memorial? Leave a comment below.

Lynn Kaplan December 18, 2012 at 04:18 PM
God bless you all for your acts and compassion (and a big BAH HUMBUG to Patriot and Mojo...disgusting). A friend of mine in Florida who donates Build a Bears to the Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital each year for kids with cancer, is trying to get the funds to donate the Build a Bears to each child in Sandy Hook Elementary. I will find out the particulars and get it to the Patch. Thanks and God Bless. There will be no Christmas in Sandy Hook, CT this year, or for those families, for many years to come.
eh December 18, 2012 at 05:06 PM
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Dawn Huser Field December 18, 2012 at 06:35 PM
well said Connie!!!
Dawn Huser Field December 18, 2012 at 06:37 PM
also well said!!!!
Dawn Huser Field December 18, 2012 at 06:57 PM
How could people find any negativity in this wonderful, thoughtful gesture from this community?? Families have been shattered by what has happened. Innocent children have been ripped from their parents, siblings, grandparents, other family members and friends lives forever as well as the people that were killed trying to protect them. As a parent and grandparent my heart is shattered in a million pieces for these sweet babies, their families and the care givers that died trying to protect them. We all care about the people in different circumstances that have also been killed from gun violence as well. nobody is saying to forget them or dismiss what has happened to them. So SHAME on you Patriot and Mojo for taking something so beautiful and thoughtful and turning it into something UGLY!!! THANK YOU Chris Diamond for your thoughtfulness!!! I will hang an ornament on each and EVERY tree to show MY respect and heartfelt condolences.
Mike Kazickas December 18, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Whether you agree or not Nancy Lanza was a victim as well. should be a tree for her also
Dawn Huser Field December 18, 2012 at 08:11 PM
I also agree
tito December 18, 2012 at 08:30 PM
thankyou for taking down PATRIOT or better known as martin drews rants. there is no need to allow him a platform for his mouth (keyboard diarhea).
Amagansett December 18, 2012 at 09:17 PM
The need to express one's anguish, sympathy, and solidarity with the famiilies devastated by the senseless shooting of innocents at Newtown may also be achieved by sending a donation to funds, such as the one hosted by ABC News, established to provide help to these devasted families,. Contact your Senator and Congressman urging them to pursue stronger and more diligent gun control and gun safety laws. Support mental health services. Be proactive for all the innocents ; past, present, and future. Amagansett
Amagansett December 18, 2012 at 09:21 PM
People are entitle to their opinions and there's no reason as a community we can't have a discussion about this. Patriot shouldn't have been taken down and his name Should NOT have been posted everyone has the right to free speech and to be respected regardless of conflicting views.
Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) December 18, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Here's an update on some vigils planned: http://easthampton.patch.com/articles/community-vigils-planned-for-friday-in-east-hampton-sag-harbor
Concerned December 18, 2012 at 09:44 PM
This memorial was a kind and thoughtful gesture on behalf of the East Hampton community. Chris Diamond’s gift was incredibly generous. My thoughts, prayers and sympathies go out to the innocent victims, and to the families of the victims, of the Sandy Hook shooting. I understand the human need to connect with others who we feel are similar to us during a time of hardship. The victims of Sandy Hook are people who were parents, children, teachers, Americans just like us. I understand that a natural response is to feel that we must make a gesture of support and good will towards our fellow citizens who are suffering through this senseless and violent tragedy. But I can’t help that I feel that the trees missed the mark. This response is reactive, not proactive. The memorial belongs in Sandy Hook where a community desperately needs to see and feel our support, not through photographs and articles, but through more tangible gestures. Donating to the various funds that have been set up in the names of the victims, donating to the charities that assist those with mental illnesses and donations made to the local Newtown responders and hospital would have better served the purpose. Continued...
Concerned December 18, 2012 at 09:44 PM
If this awakened charity and empathy in our community then I invite everyone to donate their time or their money to our local soup dinner, fire departments, hospitals, churches, East Hampton Family Service League, Moreen's Haven, meals on wheels and the many other local deserving charitable organizations and support groups in our area. As the good people in Newtown CT realized, events like this can happen anywhere. Support the charities, groups and individuals in our community who give their time and resources to uplift those who suffer and to prevent tragedies of all kinds, every day. Take the money that you are planning on spending on ornaments and trappings for these trees and give those dollars where they will make the most difference. Unfortunately the events in Sandy Hook transpired, but let’s not let this be a misplaced lesson for our community. Whether we like it or not this event has created a sympathetic momentum. Let’s support those in our community that suffer everyday and who can use our help now. Not before it’s too late. Do not forget Sandy Hook. Do not forget the victims. But please do not forget the real differences you can make within our community, today and everyday...
Pamela Viscuso-Taber December 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM
This is such a wonderful way to have a memorial for those poor lost Angels and their teachers! I have yet to go visit it but I will this week and would like to leave a token at each one for the children and teachers and Principal in Memory! Such a tragedy for so many families and friends! Our prayers go to the families of all the victims of Sandy Hook! Thank you to Kathy & Chris Diamond and others who donated & created this wonderful memorial! Oh and for the record what people are posting on here should not be done! How anyone could think otherwise is beyond ridiculous! No one wants recognition it is a matter of an act of kindness and good faith! How do you know "Patriot" if Chris Diamond has not already made donations to some of the organizations you have mentioned! Maybe he has maybe he has not! IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! This is a small community (just like Newtown,CT) that is showing their prayers and wishes to the unfortunate families over in Sandy Hook. What is so wrong in that?!! Someone makes a gesture to share thoughts for the sad heartbreaking event that happened and wants to show it by donating tree's that he sells and obviously so do many others! So just let things go the way they are and let people have their time for prayer,mourning,putting a token or decoration there or just a simple wave! The Taber Family East Hampton, NY
Pamela Viscuso-Taber December 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Well said Dawn!
Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Don't know anything about Tito. Not sure how he knew it was Martin Drew either!
Dawn Huser Field December 19, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I don't think the tree's missed the mark at all. I think all of us have been touched by this horrific tragedy and this is ONE of the ways that we can help ourselves deal with this. This is too close to home it could have been one of our schools one of our children, grandchildren, mother or sister that died. We feel their pain and being able to go to these tree's hang ornaments, say a prayer for them and their loved ones helps us in our own way. A lot of people I know including myself have done this AND things for our OWN community. We can do both. Just like after hurricane sandy we all pulled together and did what we could to help those in need. Decorating the tree's and and saying a prayer and paying respect to these people and their families might be more for us and they might never know we did this but this IS what we need to help us get through this. Again this could have happened here and knowing that each town did their own thing to honor us and our community would touch me deeply.
t&b December 19, 2012 at 02:48 AM
I cannot believe the audacity of some of the comments on here. First off I will say again; take your negative attitudes elsewhere. I feel like the trees completely did NOT miss the mark (agree with you completely dawn! well said!) they are a way for all to grieve because of how close to home this hit with EVERYONE. They are a gesture of love and support to the families who will never be the same. I could say so many things to the negative comments but all I will say is you are pathetic. Stop always looking for more, and take what it is that people are willing to give. Misery loves company which is the sad truth, all I can say is you will never be happy if you can't be satisfied with what others have to offer. Yeah we could donate elsewhere but this is one act of serious kindness that all should participate in.
MARTIN DREW December 19, 2012 at 03:30 PM
T&B - pathetic is your tone that no one has the right to disagree with this effort ... What's pathetic is your need to be center of the Universe .. This tragedy DID NOT HAPPEN HERE! Quit trying to to judge us ! My opinions were mine ; I have the right to free speech . Isn't America great ; you hang your ornaments ; makes you feel important ; good for you ... Me & others here feel that it's inappropriate ... We know It's a TRAGEDY ; go to Sandy Hook and grieve with them ; not for them . Pay your respects in person ; if so motivated ; that would be appropriate ; Bringing our Christmas into the turmoil of others is NOT right ... For the record before you judge me again .. My father was buried on Christmas Eve long ago ; When I was (2) So I look for happy times at Christmas regardless of MY personal TRAGEDY in my life ... so take your pathetic diatribe elsewhere and realize we don't have to agree .. Patch asked our opinion I gave it ... Try remembering our local kids who have NEVER been embraced by this community in the living ... Try loving our kids before grasping onto a need to be a needy do- gooder .. Yeah my real name : MARTIN DREW ; you know the guy who's been fighting for OUR KIDS FOR DECADES !! In the living !! Hang a ornament for all the kids left without for your selfishness !! Merry Christmas DAD! Godbless the lost of Sandy Hook ; and god bless my father! Maybe you hang one for him in my tragic loss !!!
tm December 19, 2012 at 03:32 PM
get a life
MARTIN DREW December 19, 2012 at 05:22 PM
What does Tito have to say now ... The platform is all you. Run your mouth some more ?
christie nicolle December 22, 2012 at 02:22 AM
ENOUGH already! What about giving attention + honor to thousands of military men + women who gave up their life to protect this country + around the world?? This is just good reality t.v. gone hoopla! Millions get slaughtered everyday but since it wasn't in big numbers nobody gives a hoot. Enough of the sappy overdone concern.
christie nicolle December 22, 2012 at 02:35 AM
No Mike, Nancy Lanza is guilty of bringing into the world a demon...she went back to where she came from: Hell....don't forget this yenta left guns in this freak's face. Nice work.
christie nicolle December 22, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Dawn, why don't you hang an ornament of the dead military men who are dead defending your country? Oh, sorry, its not fashionable to care about them only the latest reality t.v. horror.
christie nicolle December 22, 2012 at 02:39 AM
PJ Delia, its fashionable to do this... even if its not your community.... how about you caring about the military dead who defend your right to be as superficial as i bet you are. Right?
Paul Pettersen December 26, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Peace on Earth. Good will.
Mo Neill December 28, 2012 at 07:31 PM
christie, how dreadful your attempt here & other places to want to degrade & forget the Newtown & peoples grief over this awful killing spree. In other remarks around Patch you beat the same drum: let's forget about this massacre & instead memorialize the dead & wounded in the military. You even state this slaughter is being manipulated by media to be a TV reality show. Deranged! It is reality, but not a TV show; one you wish disappeared until the next kill spree. What a fool to believe yr countrymen & women wants to honor the NRA & other front groups of the gun industry you want us to celebrate. It is false & deceptive patriotism (yr scoundrel refuge) to attempt to silence the outrage felt & voiced across the nation against the greed of the gun industry & gun nuts who support them. The overwhelming majority of Americans recognize the insanity of present, inadequate gun control laws to stem the murderous rampage occuring across the country. Yr attempt to stop adequate gun control is monstrous, immoral & as stupid as yr attempt to short-circuit discussion by proffering to honor the wounded & dead (American only, no doubt) by the cake-walk of a pre-emptive invasion of another country a Republican President & his VP, both gun nuts, foisted upon this country by lies & deception, causing financial calamity, impoverishing us,dishonoring military men & women wounded, dying, dead & their memory. Get a life. Wheather you like it or not, Newtown will never be forgotten!
Hazel Wilkonson the First December 28, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Christe Nicole has soiled the memory of all these children.
christie nicolle December 29, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Listen up emotion based Left Wingers who do not reason: EVERYDAY + EVERY MOMENT around the globe, children + adults are killed.... but if your CNN reports of just ONE person killed (instead of 26) would you put teddy bears + flowers + moan their loss for 2 weeks of media hoopla? Hypocrisy! ...a "group" killed should be no more significant than "one". Be aware: The media plays you like a violin.
christie nicolle December 29, 2012 at 06:49 PM
to whining, leftist Mo Neil: how dare you degrade my country with your endless attacks on America... why then don't you take yourself the hell out of here? Instead of blood sucking + spitting on it - you're a TAKER. Liberalism IS a mental disorder as psychologists admit...run along + worship your god Castro + Obama. By the way, did you moan the girl in New Delhi raped + killed today? How about in Chicago, 33 black kids are killed by other blacks on a weekly basis? Did you mourn for them too? ALL are equally significant - but your CNN decides what to hype. P.S. GOD BLESS THE NRA. If someone had a gun that day most of the 26 would be alive.

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