Tree Honoring Newtown Victims to be Unveiled Thursday Night

A ceremony by county and religious leaders will begin at 6 p.m. at the county government center in San Jose.


Santa Clara County officials and local religious leaders will take part in a ceremony this evening to unveil a "Community Vigil Tree" for the victims of last week's mass shooting in Newtown, CT, a spokesman said.

The gathering, which is open to the public, will take place in the breezeway of the county government center at 70 W. Hedding St. in San Jose from 6 to 7 p.m.

The event is meant to honor the 20 first-graders and six educators murdered by a gunman who then killed himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday.

The tree, which was set up the lobby of the county building this afternoon, is already decorated with hanging ornaments made out of paper plates with color photos of each victim of the tragic event.

The public will be invited to hang additional ornaments on the tree, which will remain in the breezeway until Dec. 31, said The-vu Nguyen, a spokesman for Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese.

Megan Williams, a community leader who works with troubled juveniles, will begin the ceremony by recounting a dream she had of one of the young shooting victims coming to see her, Nguyen said.

Others set to deliver remarks are Sabuhi Siddique of the county's Human Relations Commission; Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, director of the county Office of Women's Policy; and Kari Johnson, whose son was killed in a shooting.

Cortese and Williams are organizing the event, Nguyen said.


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