Anyone passing the Eastchester Community Church at 11 Woodlot Road will see a new memorial garden decorated with red hearts bearing the names of the victims of the school shooting spree in Newtown, Conn.
The Rev. Eric J. Hall said he created the garden to provide a place for people to mourn. Hall, whose has a 6-year-old son named Arthur, said the shooting affected himself and his wife very strongly. “We generally do not do stuff like this. We did a Sept. 11 memorial, but we are not a flashy church,” he said. “But we said if we feel this way, we’re sure a lot of other people feel this way.”
The memorial includes six large red hearts with the names of the adults killed and 20 smaller hearts with the children’s names. There are also signs with Bible quotes and a sign with markers for visitors to write down their own comments. Wild Orchid Florist and Nature’s Cradle have donated floral arrangements and local families have donated 20 small stuffed reindeer, a large teddy bear, a singing angel and a toy truck. The church’s Lincoln Academy preschool has 70 to 80 students and many parents wanted to express their feelings through the donations, Hall said. “Before you knew it, this had a life all by itself,” he said.
The memorial garden is lit until 10 p.m. each day.