Playground opening to remember Newtown shooting victim - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Playground opening to remember Newtown shooting victim


A new playground, which honored the memory of one of the Sandy Hook shooting victims, was completed in Hartford Friday.

Ana Grace Marquez-Greene was one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012. Six adults were also shot and killed inside the building before the gunman killed himself.

Marquez-Greene would have turned 8 years old on Friday.

It all started after Hurricane Katrina in 2006 when New Jersey firefighters joined forces to build playgrounds in Mississippi. They were reunited again after Newtown.

The New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association is building 26 playgrounds in the Tri-State Area, one for each of the victims.

The playgrounds are being built as part of the Sandy Ground Project: Where Angels Play and will all be in areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

"This beautiful angel will look down and bless the angels that are still here with us, and she will be remembered forever," said Bill Lavin, the founder of Sandy Ground Project: Where Angels Play.

A ceremony was held at Elizabeth Park Friday night after the completion of the playground in Marquez-Greene's honor.

"For us it means love wins," said Nelba Marquez-Greene, Anna's mother. "It's to be able to give Hartford a playground in honor of our daughter. It's just the ultimate act of winning.

A lot of labor, love, donated materials and time goes into building each playground, which Eyewitness News learned typically cost around $100,000 apiece.

The next playground dedication for Grace Audrey McDonnell will be April 24 in Mystic

Marquez-Greene's memory will live on in her artwork and words that are displayed through the new playground.

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