Waking up on the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, we found this this article about the ways that some residents in the town are choosing to memorialize the event:

In the absence of an official memorial, residents here have been memorializing the victims on a daily basis since the massacre by carrying out acts of kindness.

Kyle Lyddy, 26, the commission’s chair and founder of the We Are Newtown movement, an effort launched on Facebook that has sought to bring the community together, said a woman paid for his coffee last week at Dunkin’ Donuts. She didn’t say why she picked up the tab and left before he could thank her.

“I just kind of knew why,” Lyddy said. “I just kind of understood why.”

Residents here, it seems, are living in the moment. Drivers are being more courteous. A gas-station attendant is receiving more generous tips. A Newtown General Store customer said a man bought him breakfast, handed him a piece of paper bearing the name of a little girl who died at the school and asked him to “pass it on.”

The story reminded us that when senseless acts of violence tear through a community, we make sense again through small gestures of generosity. And it got us thinking: what if, in memory of tragedies such as the one that occurred in Sandy Hook last year, we all dedicated a random act of kindness to those lost and those who are grieving?

Merete Mueller

via Al Jazeera America


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2 replies on “In Newtown, a Makeshift Memorial from Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Wrote this last year in the wake of the tragedy. How sweet to hear that random acts of kindness are their legacy.

    20 Tiny People

    A funeral today for an older gentleman
    Almost 80, well liked
    His humor and loving kindness left in his wake
    Now reunited with his beloved
    20 tiny people to be buried soon
    Torn from their mothers and fathers
    The fragility of life tip toes behind them
    They leave broken hearts and shattered dreams
    From sea to shining sea
    Lives incomplete, lost to the madness of one soul

  2. Thank you SO much for sharing your poem. It brings back that moment, a year ago, that has found some healing in an unexpected, and utterly simple practice: random acts of kindness.

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