UT graduate from Newtown says her town is different

UT graduate from Newtown says her town is different

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By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

NEWTOWN, Conn. (WATE) - Saturday will be a year since 26 people, including 20 children, were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

In the days after that tragedy, we heard from University of Tennessee student, Genna Rossi, who was from Newtown and actually went to Sandy Hook.

Rossi says Newtown will never be the same, and that Saturday is going to be a tough day for everyone.     

Rossi graduated from UT in the spring and got a job in New York City. She commutes to her job from Newtown.     

She has a hard time telling people she is from Newtown.

"Whenever you say where you are from, people are automatically associating you with the tragedy," said Rossi.

Rossi said all of the media buzz about the anniversary is understandable, but sometimes hard to bare.

"It is a big deal, a solemn time, but this month is no different than any other month that we've been through," she said. "It just happens to be a year. It gets tougher and tougher, especially realizing that a year ago that we lost so many people in our community."    

Rossi says Newtown has changed.

"I think people try to live like they used to, but there is always that hole there," said Rossi. "I think there is always some kind of emptiness that will always be there."    

She says despite that hole, Newtown has become a friendlier place.

"I think definitely everyone is starting to join together as a community," she said. "I try to live day by day as it comes, and really appreciate the people around me, and the people in my life."    

Rossi says one of the hardest parts is driving by Sandy Hook Elementary.

"I drive right by it," she said. "It's right by my house. I went to the school. I pass it when I run errands and things. It kind of puts a pit in your stomach."   

She just hopes Saturday people will not sit around and cry.

"I think everyone in Newtown is wanting to appreciate what they have and I think that being in a situation where everyone is crying all day long isn't really what these angels would have wanted," she said.

Rossi says there is not a large public vigil planned for the anniversary. She says several local churches are planning special services on Saturday.

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