Lifestyle & Belief

Churches urged to ring their bells in memory of Connecticut school massacre


A man helps a little girl up the steps of Trinity Church December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.



Thousands of church bells will ring 26 times at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, in memory of those killed by Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza.

The National Council of Churches released a statement saying that many of its 100,000 congregations planned to participate in the bell-ringing as part of a somber remembrance that Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy called for earlier in the week.

NBC quoted Malloy as saying in a Monday press conference:

"I'm asking that Friday, Dec. 21, at 9:30 a.m., exactly one week after the horror began to unfold in Newtown, that the entire state observe a moment of silence. I'd like to ask those houses of worship or other buildings that have the ability to play bells to do so as well — 26 bells for the beautiful children and six wonderful adults who were killed at school that day."

Political and community Leaders elsewhere in the country appeared to heed the call.

The mayor of McDonough in Georgia joined the call for church bells to toll in the memory of the Connecticut shooting victims.

McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland told the Associated Press that the idea appeared to be gaining interest across his state after the Georgia Municipal Association sent an email to its members urging them to consider it. 

The mayor's assistant, Leslie Balog, suggested the idea after recalling how church bells in Henry County rang shortly after a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007, Copeland said. He said:

"The sentiment is so strong for us to move forward with this."

The mayor said that when he called on community leaders in town, "Nobody hesitated. All of us here grieve."

In Alabama, Rev. Bill King of Trinity Episcopal Church in Clanton said the bells there will ring 26 times, the Clanton Advertiser wrote.

And Grace Episcopal Church in Port Huron will ring its church bells 26 times at exactly 9:30 a.m., the Times Herald wrote.

Meanwhile, Gov. Deval Patrick has also asked all Massachusetts residents observe a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, according to the Milford Daily News

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