Trees, messages honor Sandy Hook victims

St. James School sixth-grader Natalie Copeland laid a paper chain on a redbud tree for Sandy Hook students. (Record Photos by Marnie McAllister)

St. James School sixth-grader Natalie Copeland laid a paper chain on a redbud tree for Sandy Hook students. (Record Photos by Marnie McAllister)

Students from four local schools gathered at Tyler Park April 12 to remember the 26 victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., late last year. Louisville Metro Mayor Greg Fischer and local lawmakers also attended the program with students from St. James and St. Agnes Schools, Louisville Collegiate School and Bloom Elementary School.

St. Agnes School fourth-grader Christina Overley laid a message on a tree with her mom, Ana Overley.

St. Agnes School fourth-grader Christina Overley laid a message on a tree with her mom, Ana Overley.

The gathering was the idea of Bloom fourth-grader Henry Helmers, who attended a memorial for the victims a week after the shootings. The 10-year-old thought something more should be done to remember the 20 children and six adults who were murdered. He suggested a tree be planted in their honor.

The Tyler Park Neighborhood Association agreed and purchased 26 redbud trees which were planted in a wooded part of the park along Tyler Park Drive. Crews from the Olmsted Parks Conservancy planted the small trees Friday morning.

During the ceremony, the students left handmade paper chains on the trees. Each contained a message for people in Connecticut. The messages also will be sent to Sandy Hook Elementary.

Messages from St. James School students included, “Peace be with you,” “Have hope,” “Show love,” and “The Holy Spirit is with you.”

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