Balloons launch to honor Sandy Hook victims
January 17, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- One month after 20 children and six adults died in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., parents, children and teachers gathered at the Fort Carson Head Start Center to honor and remember the victims' lives.
"This is a day to celebrate," said Noreen Landis-Tyson, CEO of the Community Partnership for Child Development, addressing the attendees.
"This is a day to celebrate because that is the only way we can continue to heal."
Landis-Tyson said it was important to acknowledge the anniversary and use it as an opportunity to grow and reconcile the grief experienced after the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook.
"We serve young children and (they) were affected by Sandy Hook," she said. "It's never easy when young children are involved, but it's even harder when you are committed to serving young children and they were the victims."
Despite having the day off of school, dozens of parents and children braved the single-digit temperatures to release green and white balloons -- the Sandy Hook school colors -- and be part of the memorial.
"It's important for me," said Family member Veronica DeJesus. "I have young children. I put myself in those parents' shoes."
Sarah Sherwood, a teacher with the Head Start program, said it was important for schools and communities to band together in times of sorrow.
"It's a very tragic thing," she said. "This shows that we can come together to overcome that."
Kristen Camp's 4-year-old son, Cameron, is too young to understand what happened to the children from Sandy Hook, but she brought him to the balloon launch because she feels he needs to be aware of what happened.
"Everybody should be aware," she said. "I want him to know that even if it didn't happen here, it's important."