To honor the nearly 30 victims of the Newtown, Conn. fatal shootings, there will be a vigil held on Christmas eve in Stoneham.
The vigil is slated for 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 24 at the Stoneham Town Common, according to organizer Erin Sinclair. At 7:28 p.m., green LED-lit balloons with names tags of the victims will be released simultaneously in many communities by 20 elementary aged kids and 8 adults, followed by a two-minute moment of silence, according to Sinclair. "27 balloons will be released for the victims of Sandy Hook and the 28th balloon is for all lost souls or people who are or have someone that is a victim from acts violence," wrote Sinclair on the event page on Facebook.
"We are looking for families to join us at the Stoneham Town Common and bring a candle to light or flashlight in memory of the victims," Sinclair said.
On the morning of Dec. 14, Adam Lanza allegedly shot and killed his mother Nancy in their Newtown home before forcing his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and six adults, according to Newtown Patch.
As for why she got involved with this particular event, Sinclair said: "Since hearing the news of this tragedy on Friday (Dec. 14) I have had an empty feeling inside, feeling like I wanted to reach out and show support to these families."
"I have a 4th grader and I never question her safety when I drop her off at school every morning and this really hit home," Sinclair said. "As I was running around buying presents and planning family festivities Friday night and Saturday morning, the thoughts of those families and how horrible this is for them just overwhelmed me. My thought after reading (a) post (about a nationwide vigil for the Newtown victims) was the more communites that participate in this vigil the more powerful it will be. I knew that my community would support me and join this event and they absolutely have.
"Christmas eve is when the other communities that are involved decided to hold the vigil so Stoneham is following along," Sinclair continued. "I know that it is a diffcult night for people with their own family traditions but (it's) only an hour of our time to come together. I believe prayer is stronger in numbers."
Sinclair said she purchased the balloons for the event, while Melissa Patalano, owner of Melissa's Main Street Bistro, and fellow Stonehamites Heatha DeSano and Kim Plourde will be providing the helium tanks.
For more information, visit the event page on Facebook or call Erin Sinclair at 617-799-4434.
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