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Par-Troy PTA Council Hosts Candlelight Vigil for Newtown Shooting Victims

Event will be held Tuesday night at Veterans Park.

The Par-Troy Council of Parent-Teacher Associations will honor the memory of those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Friday morning's deadly shooting in Connecticut.


Parsippany residents are asked to gather Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Veterans Park off Route 46.

Organizer Sandy Nussbaum Giercyk said the idea behind the event is to offer solace to those who are grieving and to pay respects to the fallen.

"As the events of Friday unfolded it was horrific and gutwrenching to everyone," Giercyk told Patch. "I couldn't get past the fact it was kindergarten children.  Innocent 6-year-olds.  As a parent it was simply heartbreaking.  

"All you want to do is grab your kids and never leave home if even a kindergarten room isn't a safe place."

With those thoughts in mind, Giercyk said she contacted council president Elizabeth Kadian to see if it was possible to gather. She then reached out to the township's Recreation Superintendent Joe Plescia, who approved the use of the park.  

Giercyk said the fast turnaround has kept her busy.

"I['ve reached] out to clergy, dignitaries and other potential speakers as well as try to buy candles and get the word out," she said, adding that such a tragedy hits even harder during the winter holidays.

"During such a joyful season, the devastation is overwhelming," Giercyk said. "What better way to begin to cope than by coming together as a community and to remember how lucky we are.

"It has been a rough week, but I keep reminding myself I don't even know what rough is."

Attendees are encouraged to bring along flashlights or electric candles for the vigil. Giercyk said a limited number will be available for sale at Tuesday's event.

clyde donovan December 17, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Don't attend this. Let the families of Newtown grieve in peace, instead of turning this tragic event into a carnival. The Parsippany vigil is just a platform for local politicans to get media attention - and "a limited number (of flashlights or electric candles) will be available for sale."
Sandy Giercyk December 17, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Mr. Donovan - I find your comments highly offensive. I organized this as a parent of high school child. It is comprehensible to me how someone shot these babies. The vigil is to bring our community together to grieve and be able to move forward. This is not about politics, this is about PTA - parents. As to the limited number of electric candles for sale, when I sent out the press release, I was not sure what we could get a hold of on such short notice, Candles will be $2 and $3 each, a profit of about $.50 which is being used for other things needed for the vigil. No one is forced to come, no one is forced to buy anything. This is about us being a community.
Sick of the trolls December 17, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Hey, "clyde", quit upsetting the nice people. God forbid we try to do something as a community, right? If this vigil is a platform for the pols to get attention, what are your posts? A cry for help? A plea for someone to come put you out of your misery? Please explain to me how this disrupts the grieving of the families in Newtown. Just please go away.
Debbie Orme December 18, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I'm not sure what anyone's particular practices might be but everyone I know gathers together to offer sympathy and support to the families, honor those who have passed, and shoulder each others grief. That's been the way most of us have handled a loss; it's a way to deal with the sorrow of loosing someone dear and a way to begin the healing process. I can't imagine a more devastating loss then that of a parent loosing a child, a beautiful light, an innocent soul; or of a family loosing such a special spirit as the heroes who risked themselves for the children. This has been a loss more profound then most of us will ever know. I personally have not been able to move past the sorrow and grief and am so very grateful for the scheduled vigil; it will provide me with the process that I know and rely on to begin my healing and offer us a way to send our sympathy and support to all those impacted by Friday's horrific tragedy... as a united community...standing beside Newtown...honoring the light of those taken...offering our shoulder... Sandy, I can not thank you.enough for putting this together...you are truly so very special and our community to blessed to have you.
susan brown December 18, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Could someone please provide a more specific address on rt 46? Thanks!
Natalie Davis (Editor) December 18, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Veterans Park. The entrance to the park is located on Route 46 East at Vail Road, directly after Cerbo's Lumber, 1855 Route 46.

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