Trees memorializing Newtown shooting victims planted in SLC cemetery

Posted at 10:44 PM, Dec 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-28 00:44:54-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Salt Lake City leaders dedicated a grove of trees on Thursday in remembrance of the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The grove stands at the entrance of the Salt lake City Cemetery at 200 North and Fourth Avenue.

"In expression of our deep sorrow, our community gathered together today to plant trees in remembrance of the children and teachers who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School," said Karen Hill. "Each tree - one for each child and teacher - is an eastern redbud...Eastern redbuds are native to Connecticut and historic to Salt Lake City. The attributes of the redbud are well suited to those we honor."

Organizers say that over time, the eastern redbud canopies will seamlessly weave together and create a beautiful legacy.

"Every year thousands of people enter through the gate of this sacred place of remembrance. From this day forward, they will be greeted by trees native to Connecticut  historic to Salt Lake City, symbolic of the enduring love and beauty of 20 precious children and their teachers, and dedicated with prayer for their loved ones, trusted in God's grace," Hill said.

Images of the children and teachers who died were hung from the branches of the redbuds.

A candlelight vigil followed the dedication. Many of the people who attended the dedication and vigil say it was their way of expressing their condolences to the families in Newtown and a way of feeling some sort of comfort.