Texas. Rhode Island. Ohio. New York. South Carolina. People from nearly every state in the nation, and from countries across the globe, have come to Newtown to pay their respects.
They cried. They prayed. They walked slowly through thousands of memorials left in the village of Sandy Hook as if they were on sacred ground. They came to mourn and to celebrate the lives of the 20 children and six adults who were killed at Sandy Hook School on Dec. 14.
Not only has the small town seen an influx of visitors, it's been inundated by gifts sent from around the world. Yesterday, Newtown finally asked, please, send no more. As much as the townspeople are touched by the outpouring of generosity, own officials say they are simply overwhelmed by it all at this point.
The town will begin collecting up all the materials left at those memorial sites, including teddy bears, toys, cards, flowers and signs, after Jan. 1 and will compost them into a permanent future memorial, the Danbury News Times reports.
The newspaper says that First Selectman Patricia Llodra sent a recorded telephone message to all Newtown residents. The message said, in part, that the town's Public Works Department will collect all of the materials will recycle it into soil or some type of blocks.
"This will be sacred soil, holding all the sweet messages and symbols of love and hope, of kindness and sadness, visions for a better future and promises to forever remember the ones lost in this sad attack," her message said.