Bells will ring in Oneonta and elsewhere at 9:30 a.m. today as a moment of silence marks the one-week anniversary of the shootings in Newtown, Conn.
New York state Commissioner of Schools John B. King invited all schools in the state to observe the moment of silence, which was initiated by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy in a proclamation signed Tuesday. Malloy requested that houses of worship and government buildings ring bells 26 times to honor each person — 20 children and six adults — killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Twenty-seven bells will ring this morning at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Laurens and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hartwick Seminary, according to the Rev. Paul Messner. The additional bell will be in honor of Nancy Lanza, mother of shooter Adam Lanza, who was also killed Dec. 14.
The bells will also toll at Yager Hall on the Hartwick College campus, according to a statement issued Thursday by college President Margaret L. Drugovich.
“The loss of life at the Sandy Hook Elementary School is so shocking, so tragic, that it is difficult to know the best way to support the individual families who lost loved ones, the people of Newtown, and the people of the surrounding communities who are mourning their losses this week,” Drugovich said. “The incident reminds us that every student is an individual that deserves to be understood and celebrated for their unique qualities, that every teacher is courageous for wanting, above all, to embrace these differences and help each student to develop and realize her dream, and that every administrator plays an important role in assuring the well-being of a learning community.”
Local efforts to support the families in Newtown are ongoing. A teddy bear drive is under way in Cooperstown through Dec. 28. According to organizer Stacey Kellar, stuffed animals and toys are being collected at Danny’s Market and the Clark Sports Center for children affected by the shooting. More information is available from Kellar at StaceyK23@gmail.com or 743-2757.
Monetary donations can be made to: Sandy Hook School Support Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank 39 Main St. Newtown, CT 06470 or submitted online at newtown.unwesternct.org.