her OneNewtown.org blog.First Selectman Pat Llodra says Newtown will host no official events of any kind on the first-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, according to a statement posted on
"We ask now for patience and understanding as we approach the first anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook School," Llodra said. "Our community is choosing to remember and honor those who lost their lives in that awful tragedy in ways that are quiet, personal, and respectful — centered on the themes of kindness, love, and service to others. We are wishing fervently that those many persons who wish us well, and the media, will allow us this time to be alone and quiet with time for personal and communal reflection."
Llodra said houses of worship will provide their own religious services for congregants on the day, that schools will honor the event in appropriate ways and that other organizations — including Parks and Recreation, C.H. Booth Library, Edmond Town Hall and the Senior Center — may provide additional services.
Llodra suggests families, organizations and businesses spend the weeks prior to day "pledg[ing] an act of kindness to one another," using the anniversary as a chance for learning and growth.
"Maybe this tragedy can serve as a reminder for all families to set aside a few minutes to talk together about the importance of compassionate acts – that those acts become the glue that binds us together in our humanity," she said. "Maybe some small amount of time can be set aside in school classrooms for appropriate and meaningful discussions about kindness and service. It is not that these things don’t already occur from time to time, but just think about the power of so many thinking the same good thoughts and acting to benefit others at the same time. There is great power in a community supporting and believing the notion that each of us can and do make a difference and that it is our compassion and genuine caring for one another that connects us not just in Newtown but as citizens of this country."
Superintendent John Reed said the statement was reviewed by numerous town officials, community leaders and business leaders at a meeting Wednesday -- and, in part, the point is to ask out-of-towners to respect Newtown's privacy.
"In a nice way, we're trying to say, 'Please leave us alone,'" he said.
Some media companies and advocacy groups have tried to rent space at Booth Library or Edmond Town Hall, Reed said at a Board of Education meeting Wednesday.
"The town is working, not to be rude, but not to be overly accommodating," said Reed. "Throughout Newtown is a green sign that says 'We choose love.' What does that really mean? One of the ways you choose love is by service to others. If you want to honor the people whose lives were cut so tragically short, you can best honor them by doing service to others."
Reed said this could be done not just on Dec. 14, but throughout the year.
"You can do this on a day-to-day basis," he said.
Reed added no tests will be given on the Thursday, Friday or Monday surrounding the anniversary, and no homework will be given over the weekend.