Westport Families Gather At Candlelight Vigil

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Lulu Busk, 13, her sister Bella, 10 and their mother, Andrea, sit with candles at the Westport memorial service Sunday evening to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
Both Seth Almansi and his 12-year-old son, Matt, believe that some thing must be done to stop the gun violence in the country. But on Sunday, they attended the Westport memorial service to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

WESTPORT, Conn. – There wasn’t enough room at Westport’s Town Hall to accommodate all who came to a vigil Sunday evening to honor the memory of those who were killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Even though the shooting didn’t happen in Westport families and children were no less affected.

Matt Almansi, 12, found himself in a lockdown at Coleytown Middle School on Friday.

“I was really scared and felt really insecure when it happened and hearing that almost 22 children died I wanted to cry,” Almansi said. He said that when he got home he couldn’t believe it had happened.

“I just like that it's being recognized as something that must be done and that we could all come to a community and help out and remember those whose lives were taken,” Almansi said.

His father, Seth , works in Manhattan and said that he heard about the shooting there, adding that it didn’t really hit home until he heard President Barack Obama speak about it.

“For me, it was a matter of wanting to get home, see my family,” Seth Almansi said. “We wanted to come here today and see where this takes us as a group.”

The vigil was organized by the Interfaith Clergy Association of Westport and Weston, and clergy from all over the region stood and read prayers and poems and sang as a way to understand the situation.

“I felt like I should support everyone who suffered from this and it hit me a lot,” said Lulu Busk, 13, when asked why she came to the vigil. “I feel like things like this have happened before but not so close to us.”

“It was very upsetting. As the news unfolded I found myself just sitting in the car and crying. What those parents must have gone through knowing their kids went to school there must have been horrible. I can’t imagine,” Andrea Busk said, when asked how she felt about the events while her daughters were at school,

Going to the memorial service was to get a sense of community, Bus said. “It was a way that we could express our solidarity to those who lost so much.”
And finding the sense of community was why, State Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-Westport said, so many people showed up to the vigil.

“A lot of people in my towns have contacted me. And mostly what I hear from them is that they feel very shaken,” Lavielle said. “I think they want to see each other. And things like the vigil in Westport and the vigil in Norwalk and the concert in Wilton on Tuesday where people can just see each other and feel like they’re a part of something is very important.”

Attached: Here are the poems and prayers read by members of the Interfaith Clergy at the vigil. (sandy_hook_vigil_program.pdf)

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