Many national websites are expected to join in a national moment of silence today to honor the victims of last Friday’s deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The moment of silence – which starts at 9:30 a.m. and lasts five minutes – was called for by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, who has led the state in responding to the heart-wrenching tragedy.
In total, 20 children lost their lives. Six adults, including teachers, staff and a principal, were also killed as they prevented the gunman from injuring other students.
Well over 100,000 websites are expected to participate.
Websites using the code will display a message which reads, "We are observing a National Moment of Silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy."
Some of the companies/organizations taking part in the moment of silence include: Adobe, AOL, Duke University, Patch, Jawbone, Salesforce, Gilt, Jobvite, Crowdtilt, WillCall, Poshmark, Rockmelt, Scoutzie, Silvercar, Turntable.fm and ZocDoc, according to a report from TechCrunch.
Still, another way to recognize the Newtown victims is by doing a series of good deeds. This idea was inspired in large part by a recent tweet from NBC News anchor Ann Curry, who called upon the nation, if not the world, to "Imagine if all of us committed to 20 acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I'm in. If you are RT. #20Acts."
The movement has since increased the number to 26, to include the adult victims, and the 26 Acts of Kindness movement “grows every hour,” according to a report from The Hartford Courant.
The moment of silence and acts of kindness have been embraced by clergy as well. Many houses of worship are expected to ring bells 26 times at 9:30 a.m.
Locally, Newtown clergy sponsored an interfaith event where President Barack Obama spoke – and have encouraged people to reach out to one another.
The Rev. Matthew Crebbin told worshippers at the Newtown Congregational Church to embrace each other and the wider community to alleviate pain. "We need now more than ever to remind ourselves that we are one community," Crebbin said after the shooting.
The Catholic Church in Newtown received a personal message from Pope Benedict which was read at a service held just hours after the shooting. It called the shooting a “senseless tragedy” and sought consolation for “all those who mourn” and sustenance for “the entire community with the spiritual strength which triumphs over violence by the power of forgiveness, hope and reconciling love.”
Last week’s event has led to overwhelming grief among the town’s students, parents, teachers, first-responders, community leaders and residents – which has spread throughout the state and the world.
Still, somehow, people need to find the courage to move on.
One Connecticut rabbinical leader, Yehoshua Hecht of Norwalk’s Beth Israel Synagogue, who was heartbroken by the loss of life, called the shooting a “colossal tragedy.” He was among those who attended the first funeral for a 6-year-old boy who was killed at the school, and afterward said that, “The community needs to continue its life … to honor the memory of all the little children.”
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