Last Friday, 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before turning the gun on himself. The man was armed with two handguns.
When Carrollton resident Jennifer Roper first heard of the story, she cried. The woman has a 6-year-old son in kindegarten, two other children and is expecting a fourth.
Roper and her husband, Steven, heard about the global event via Facebook and felt like it was something they should bring to the community, she said.
The local Walk 27 will be held at the Carroll County Recreation Department at 9:30 a.m. today. The time was decided because it was the approximate time the shooting started a week ago today.
“It is such a tragedy, to see on the news about all these children who died at such a young age,” Roper said. “I’ve got three children, and I just cannot imagine what they’re going through.”
The woman said she hoped that local residents will come together as a way of remembering and honoring the victims of the mass shooting. The walk around the recreation department’s gymnasium track will last 27 minutes, from 9:30 to 9:57 a.m.
Participants are encouraged to wear the Sandy Hook school colors, green and white.
Participants are also encouraged to bring a bottle of bubbles to be blown at the end of the event, instead of a balloon release.
Almost 400,000 people have “liked” the Facebook memorial page for the victims, with thousands saying they will be participating in their local Walk 27.
“Just the thought of my own children and those families who will never get to see their children again — it just breaks my heart that something like this happened,” Roper said.
The Carrollton woman said she and her husband were “very moved” by the incident, and that they wanted to do anything they can to support the children and teachers who gave their lives to save other children.
More than 100 Walk 27 events are planned across the world, with walks happening everywhere from Newtown to Australia.
The Walk 27 events were started by a Florida man who also curates the memorial page for the shooting victims.
“We’re just asking people to come out for 30 minutes Friday morning to remember and mourn and support these 27 people,” Roper said.