(NECN/WVIT: Seth Lemon, Plantsville, Conn.) - Six months after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a day of remembrance was held to honor the lives of the 26 victims.
Organized in part by Lisa Wrubleski and Erin Furniss, the ceremony involved planting 26 bushes and releasing 26 butterflies, one for each victim, along a section of the Southing Rail Trail in Plantsville, Conn.
Children were also invited to write uplifting messages in chalk along the pathway, and a 100-foot long mural was unveiled.
Organizers said the day of community healing and remembrance was a reminder of the good will that people have, even in times of tragedy.
"What a difference the world would be if we all thought about that and did that all the time," Wrubleski said.
"The best we can do as parents is keep our children safe and just instill the proper values in them so that they can move forward in their lives, too," Furniss added.
Connecticut's Governor, Dannel Malloy, was on hand for the event. He helped the children plant the bushes and noted that, while the day was somber, the message was focused on the lives of the victims, and not the circumstances of their deaths.
"People are now searching for a way to celebrate the lives of those who were lost, and this was a beautiful way to do it," Malloy said.
The mural will join the bushes as a lasting part of the Southington Rail Trail. Ryan Christenson, the lead artist on the painting, said it took him and his helpers more than two days to finish, but is something he hopes will last forever.
"I hope it lives on," he said. "I would like lal these children to grow up and be able to show their children this is the community coming together."
For more, watch the attached video.