Newtown decides what to do with all the memorials - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Newtown decides what to do with all the memorials


Memorials for the victims of a school shooting in Newtown have grown tremendously in just the past week and that got many Eyewitness News viewers wondering what is going to happen to all of them. 

Town officials will start picking up items and each of those items will become part of a future memorial. And the work is expected to start in just a couple of days.

Whether you've visited Newtown's growing memorial or watched our video, you can't help but notice the outpouring of support from people throughout the state and around the world for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Adam Lanza had two pistols and an AR-15 when he entered Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 and in just a matter of minutes, he fired multiple rounds killing 20 children and six adults. Before the school shooting, he shot his mother four times.

Hundreds of flowers, handmade cards, teddy bears, even candles line the streets in the center of town. Other memorials are outside town hall and in other parts of town.

The generosity hasn't gone unnoticed.

"People want to help and we accept it graciously and it just keeps coming and it just doesn't stop," said Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe.

Kehoe said residents are overwhelmed by everyone's support during such a hard time.

"Everywhere you look, coming into town, you could see basically from the flag pole all the way here, the outpouring of support in honor and memory of the people that were taken," said Carolyn Walker of Milford.

However, all of these gifts won't be thrown away.

Flowers and other biodegradable items will be turned into soil, while other gifts  such as the ones made out of wood will be used for brick.

Every item will be part of a future memorial to honor the 26 lives lost in the shooting.

First Selectman Pat Llodra made the announcement this weekend.She is calling it sacred soil as it will hold on the symbols of love and hope for a better future.

The Newtown Public Works Department will start the project after Christmas, sometime towards the end of the week.

As people have chosen to show their support through memorials as ways to grieve, remember and pray, the chief has just one concern.

"That we won't thank the people who care about us and who have delivered services and goods and great thoughts and poems and all those things," Kehoe said. "They have been heart warming and I think they have helped us in the healing process."

Town officials haven't made a decision on where a permanent memorial will be. They plan to make that decision once they figure out what will happen to Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Town officials said they also plan to involve the entire community in this decision.

Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.