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Sullivan County joins nation in mourning

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Albany/HV: Sullivan County joins nation in mourning
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Sullivan County joined people throughout the country Friday morning in a tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Our Eva McKend reports.


MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- Across the county and the world, people came together to remember the victims of Newton, Connecticut, including students and county officials in Monticello.

26 bells, each in celebration of the lives lost at Sandy Hook one week ago. Then a moment of silence. Sixth graders from Robert J. Kaiser Middle School feeling honored to be a part of the ceremony.

"It’s been a very emotional week at school for the kids to know, this could have happened anywhere and it could have happened to them and I think they feel very honored to be a part of honoring those students and teachers that have lost their lives," said Amy Phillips, Robert J. Kaiser music teacher.

As part of the New York State Association of Counties, Sullivan County joined more than 29 states in tributes across the country.

"Seeing victims that young in such a senseless tragedy really shook me as a parent and you know appreciated what life is about, you know life is having a family and your children and that is the priority that we have," said David Fanslau, Sullivan County Manager.

School officials say allowing the middle school students to participate in a remembrance allows them to be a part of the national collective grieving and healing process.

"I think it makes everything more real to them and it shows the impact that something this tragic and this horrific," said Nichole Horler, RJK Middle School principal.

The middle school principal said sixth graders were intentionally selected as administrators did not feel elementary school students would be an appropriate age group for this kind of ceremony. Certainly a solemn and reflective time for everyone but a step towards moving forward.

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