Memorial and mountain-climb for Newtown

By Peter Shanley and Sandra Storey

A local housing development recently held a memorial event for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass murder, while a Jamaica Plain resident planned to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa to fly flags honoring the victims.

On Dec. 14, 26 people, including 20 children, were shot and killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. About 15 people, including local officials and residents, gathered at the Bromley-Heath housing development on Dec. 21 to honor those victims.

“We are having this event to show we are concerned and thinking about the people of Newtown,” said Mildred Hailey, former head of the Bromley-Heath Tenant Management Corporation, in an interview with the Gazette at the memorial.

Hailey said that there is also a lot of gun violence in urban locations, and for everyone, the issue comes down to prevention.

“For years we have talked about the importance of mental health services and gun control. Now we are saying, ‘Enough is enough,’” she said.

Local state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez also attended the event. He said that while an assault weapons ban was implemented in the state in the early 2000s, Gov. Deval Patrick put forward tougher gun laws recently that did not get passed.

“I want to call on all of you to come up and stand up for gun control legislation when the time comes,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jamaica Plain resident Cristina Nelson emailed the Gazette to say she would be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro sometime before Jan. 3 to honor the children killed in Newtown. It is unclear if Nelson had previously intended to climb the mountain or if it was prompted by the tragedy.

“When I reach the top, I will fly Tibetan prayer flags, on which I’ve written the names of the children, in their memory,” she said.

Nelson said she will bring the flags back home with her and plans to send them to Newtown.


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