Candlelight vigil planned in Knoxville for Newtown victims

Candlelight vigil planned in Knoxville for Newtown victims on Saturday

Posted:
"I think people need sometimes just to come together, talk to each other, listen to each other," said memorial organizer Chip Eastham, "To help make sense for things." "I think people need sometimes just to come together, talk to each other, listen to each other," said memorial organizer Chip Eastham, "To help make sense for things."
"I think the greatest thing that a bereaved mother or parent wants to know is that their child has not been forgotten," said Debra Reagan, "So be open to conversation about what happened, on a greater level or on a personal level." "I think the greatest thing that a bereaved mother or parent wants to know is that their child has not been forgotten," said Debra Reagan, "So be open to conversation about what happened, on a greater level or on a personal level."

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Saturday marks one year since the tragic Newtown school shooting where 20 children, and six staff members, were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother before coming to the school and then shot himself after the massacre.      

The tragedy grabbed national attention and a strong focus on gun control.

A vigil to mark the anniversary is being planned in Knoxville at Danny Mayfield Park, organized by volunteers with the Tennessee branch of Organizing for Action.

"I think people need sometimes just to come together, talk to each other, listen to each other," said organizer Chip Eastham, "To help make sense for things."    

Eastham, who helped organize the vigil, says several people in the community will speak about the tragedy, but it will not be a time to discuss the politics of gun control.

"This is now what this event is about," he said.    

Remembering the victims from Newtown is very important according to Debra Reagan, the co-founder of Listening Hearts.

Listening Hearts is a support group for mothers who have lost children.     

Her 20-year-old son Clint died of a drug overdose in 2005.

"I think the greatest thing that a bereaved mother or parent wants to know is that their child has not been forgotten," said Reagan, "So be open to conversation about what happened, on a greater level or on a personal level."    

She says it would be important to visit some of the memorial pages set up by the Newtown parents for their children, or come to the vigil on Saturday to remember them.     

Reagan says the Newtown tragedy is something she will not forget.

"It's always very heart-breaking because you know what they are going through," she said.

The vigil will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Danny Mayfield Park, 800 College Avenue in Mechanicsville.

They are asking the public to bring their own candles if they want them.      

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