‘Hard to see her name etched in stone’: Moms of Sandy Hook victims react to new memorial
NEWTOWN, Conn. (WLNE) — Just weeks before the 10-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, a memorial officially opened to the public.
“There were 26 victims of the shooting, but I think that the memorial does a really nice job of creating a space for those who survived,” Jennifer Hubbard said on Monday.
Hubbard lost her 6-year-old daughter Catherine in the 2012 shooting that left 20 first graders and six teachers dead, marking one of the deadliest school shootings in the nation’s history.
The families of the victims were invited to privately walk through the memorial before it opened to the public.
Hubbard said the victim’s families were all asked if they wanted to help design the memorial before the building process began.
The memorial consists of a circling network of paths that crosses meadows and ponds- with a tree in the center. The surrounding water basin is engraved with the names of each victims, according to the designer’s website.
Michele Gay also lost her daughter, 7-year-old Joey, in Sandy Hook.
Gay and her husband visited the memorial this past weekend, marking her husband’s first time back in Newtown since the mass shooting.
“It was a lot to go back and relive the good, the bad, and everything else,” Michele said.
Both moms say they are relieved the families, communities and country has a place to remember and honor the victims- ahead of the 10-year anniversary.
Hubbard is now the president and executive director of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, which was founded in memory of her daughter. The mission of the sanctuary is to “honor the bond between animals, humans and the environment” to create a gentler world for all. To learn more about the mission, click here.
Gay is the co-founder of a national nonprofit called Safe and Sound Schools, along with another mother who also lost her daughter in the shooting. The mission is to support school crisis prevention, response, and recovery, and to protect every school and every student, every day.