NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Anne Marie Carlson was in fourth grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School when she survived the school shooting that killed 20 students and six staff members nine years ago.
This year will mark the first year Carlson, a freshman at Salve Regina University, will be away from her Newton, Connecticut home on the anniversary of that tragic day on Dec. 14, 2012.
To honor a request by Carlson, Salve Regina rang its chapel bells at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to pay tribute not only to those who were lost but also to those who lived.
“It is difficult to be away from Newtown on the anniversary, but I am grateful to be at Salve because it is such a strong community,” she said in a news release. “I reached out to Dr. Armstrong to see if the bells could be rung as a way of remembrance. I know it is finals week, but I also know that I am not the only one who has been impacted by or who has lost someone to gun violence.”
Salve Regina President Dr. Kelli Armstrong praised Carlson for coming forward with the idea. He says what happened nine years ago affected everyone, especially those who were there.
Construction is underway for a memorial in Sandy Hook for the victims of the school massacre.
The five-acre wooded area will be transformed into circular paths with reflecting pools etched with the names of all of the victims.
Officials say the construction will be finished before the 10th anniversary next year.