A Sandy Hook Statue from a Community in Canada? What Good Does this Do Anyone?

Hey Readers — A Canadian policeman wants to create what sounds like a horrible Sandy Hook memorial complete with life-size statues of the murder victims, and ship it off to Newtown. As he told The Star Phoenix, “This could be us saying we care.” 

I don’t question his sincerity or intentions. I do question how  this could possibly help anyone anywhere with anything. (Except if he hires an otherwise unemployed sculptor.) In fact, I find the dedication of time and money to a gesture like this actually disturbing. It reminds me of the days after 9/11, when communities around the world sent tons of donations to the schools closest to Ground Zero — more than those schools could handle. At the same time, New York City schools far from Ground Zero, in, say, The Bronx, were still limping along, forgotten as always, because their problems were chronic, not dramatic.

The reader who sent me the article put it best, so here goes. – L.


Dear Free-Range Kids: This article from my local newspaper makes me feel a little bit sick to my stomach.  Obviously Sandy Hook was a terrible tragedy and I don’t mean to downplay how awful it was, but I don’t understand why people in my community are putting so much effort and money into making sure they contribute to remembering the victims.  Our city and province is full of incredibly underprivileged children dealing with terrible circumstances every day – why not put that money and effort into programs that help to remove the daily horrors from these kids’ lives, instead of dwelling on Sandy Hook?  Are we so ignorant about the problems in or own city that the most meaningful thing we can put our money towards is memorializing this incident? The fact that this man is a police officer is especially concerning because he would see first hand all the horrible things that happen to local kids on a daily basis.  My mind is boggled, quite frankly.  – Saskatchewan Gal

Some memorials make sense!

Some memorials make sense!


33 Responses to A Sandy Hook Statue from a Community in Canada? What Good Does this Do Anyone?

  1. Moonie January 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    This is super depressing and absolutely ridiculous. The people involved in this tragedy do NOT need statues to remember what they lost. Those faces are drawn on the souls. I really hope this doesn’t go anywhere. It’s incredibly embarrassing. Smarten up Canada.

  2. Taradlion January 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    This was exactly how I felt seeing all the TOYs sent to Newtown left outside as memorials when kids in Long Beach, Staten Island, and other communities in NYC and NJ had lost all their toys and belongings in Hurricane Sandy. Not to mention the millions of kids who live in poverty and don’t have toys at all…..Sending cards and letters and thoughts are one thing, but sometimes I wonder…..

  3. Ben January 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Earlier today I stumbled across conspiracy nuts claiming that the Sandy Hook Massacre was a hoax to force gun control laws — and even worse, that the victims didn’t exist. (Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t claim the government had those kids killed.)

    Compared to all THAT nonsense, this report from Canada can’t shock me anymore. Still, Moonie worded it quite nicely. Those people don’t need a memorial — they wish they could forget those horrors.

    Help your local community first, before you send someone something they don’t need.

  4. Donna January 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    A memorial is going to be there, but wouldn’t it be more meaningful if designed by the people of Newtown and not some random people in Canada with no connection to Newtown?

    The toy thing bugged me too. Newtown was so close to Christmas and there were all those wasted toys while my clients’ children, and the millions like them around the world, were going to wake up Christmas morning with little to nothing under the tree. Why not reach out to local kids in the wake of a tragedy involving children? If you feel the need to memorialize Newtown, donate toys (money, food, whatever) to a local agency in the name of the victims of Newtown. Money, toys, food, whatever is not going to bring back the children lost or even make their families feel better but could help families in need. And to the extent that anything could even put a dent in their grief, I imagine that hearing that their tradegy has sparked a flurry of goodwill towards our young needy neighbors would do it better than a bunch of toys going to waste. It would mine anyway.

  5. Nancy January 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    This is just crazy.

    Donna I agree with you. A donation to needy families in the name of Newtown would be better.

    I remember after 9/11 a widow was on CNN saying stop sending my kids toys. They don’t need them. Do something that people really need.

  6. Heather P. January 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    The toy-pile memorials at the site of ANY tragedy bug me–a single victim or two dozen. The waste of money and goodwill on top of the waste of life seems sanctimonious to the point of sickening.

    “Why not reach out to local kids in the wake of a tragedy involving children? If you feel the need to memorialize Newtown, donate toys (money, food, whatever) to a local agency in the name of the victims of Newtown.”–Donna, that’s brilliant. Mourn those who have died, yes–but help those who are STILL ALIVE, and that much closer, even better.

  7. Taradlion January 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Yes. Exactly!

  8. Paul R. Welke January 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    As a subject of the People’s Republic of Canada, I feel the need to reassure you that we’re not all this crazy. In fact, I would argue that this is likely just a cry for attention from the province of Saskatchewan, also known as “Canada’s Middle Child.”

  9. Amy January 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    I was starting to think I was the only one who felt this way. It seems like we just like to move onto the next tragedy like Sandy Hook when people with homes destroyed from Hurricane Sandy weren’t getting the help they need. It’s great how generous we are but we need to think if it’s truly needed.

  10. Erica Bird January 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    Ouch, Paul :) There are crazies everywhere. I’m from Saskatoon and completely embarrassed by this memorial idea. Blech.

  11. Emily January 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    I agree. I think a better use of the money would be to donate it to a children’s charity in honour of the kids, or to the struggling public school system in honour of the teachers AND the kids, or to have an assembly at the Sandy Hook school, and consult the students on what kind of a charity project they’d like to take on. I’m not saying that they can’t do a memorial of some kind in addition to that, but what’s wrong with doing something smaller, like painting a mural, or planting a tree?

  12. Warren January 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Useless, and tactless. Sorry to say I am a Canadian, at times like this.

  13. pentamom January 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    26 victims? Mrs. Lanza deserved to die, so she’s not a victim?

    Yes, I know, there have been suggestions she was irresponsible (but that may be beyond the ability of most people to determine.) But so what? she’s still a victim. Irresponsibility does not make it okay if someone slaughters you in cold blood.

    There are many things about the way this situation is being handled that bug me, and that’s one of them.

  14. Emily January 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    P.S., I’m Canadian too.

  15. Donna January 20, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    @pentamom – I’m not surprised by the complete ignoring of her. The families of killers are always treated awfully in my opinion. They are blamed, shunned and not allowed to dare mourn the loss of their own child.

    And what’s with the presence “various emergency personnel” in the memorial? I’m not a part of the emergency worker and soldier adoration society that is so prevalent in general, but I really don’t see what they are doing here. I don’t recall them really having a major role in this drama.

  16. Gillian January 20, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    I got a post on Facebook to sign a petition to have some of the streets’ names changed to the names of the victims & I thought that was bad!

  17. missjanenc January 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    A couple of days ago WCNC Charlotte reported that the Park & Rec Dept. here is going to build a new park dedicated to Sandy Hook victims and my first reaction was being pissed off. While I feel for those who mourn this is getting to seem like some sort of contest of what entity can outdo the other to show they “care.” Sandy Hook has no connection with Charlotte. Call me insensitive but how long is this going to keep dragging on?

  18. m January 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    How many children are killed or die each year because of abuse and/or neglect from their parents or caregivers? No one memorializes them.

    Millions of children die each year from malaria, measles, and polio, and other treatable diseases. Where are their statues?

    How many children die from starvation, or water-borne diseases because of a lack of clean drinking water?

    People don’t bother with children when they feel: “That won’t ever happen to MY child.”

    The memorial business is BS aimed at their own worries and fears.

  19. Bose in St. Peter MN January 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    The top priority related to memorials, as far as I’m concerned, ought to be that they are locally- and family-driven.

    You just won’t find that families whose loved ones have died tragically in their own neighborhoods want life-sized statues of the loved ones erected as perpetual public reminders. People generally want to do their grieving and remembering more quietly, in places of their own choosing.

  20. m January 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    The more I read and think about this, the angrier I get. Dedicate parks in other states? Naming streets after the children in other areas?

    What about the mothers who live IN those cities who have had children killed by gun violence! Imagine what a slap in that face that will be.

    Those children’s deaths, as tragic as they may be, are no more tragic then the thousands of other children who have died in the US in 2012. Ask the mother whose child was killed by a drive-by shooting in a poor neighborhood if her child is less worthy.

  21. Warren January 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Memorials were once for military purposes. Honour those that died serving our country, heroes, and so on.

    They were symbols that we could gather around to mourn, remember, and at the same time celebrate.

    Memorials for things like Sandy Hook are nothing more than sad reminders, that in many cases, are nothing more than painful reminders. Let the dead rest, and the survivors move on. It is going to be hard enough without “parks, statues, shrines, and the like” bringing it back up, day after day.

    And don’t fool yourselves anyone. Memorials are not for the dead, they are for the living to feel better.

  22. Karen January 20, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Just a reminder to all: when you post about weird and misguided plans like this man is proposing, please don’t attribute these qualities to an entire country, as in the first comment here: “Smarten up, Canada” . . . ?. . .

  23. Saskatchewan Gal January 21, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    I GET that for middle and upper class white people, our knee-jerk reaction is to be more scared of something like this happening than our kids being murdered in a drive-by shooting, or becoming victims of abuse or drug addiction. They are parents like the people we know: people who did everything they could to keep their kids safe, yet this still happened. So for sure, these are going to be tragedies we instinctively identify with most.

    But when a tragedy like this happens and my first instinct is to internalize it, I FORCE myself to remember the chronic tragedies, as Lenore put it, and keep those situations in my thoughts as well. Not saying I think about horrible things all day – but every time a kid dies, it’s incredibly tragic, no matter how rich or how poor, no matter how “good” the parents were. I think it’s ignorant to classify the deaths of these kids as being exceptionally more tragic than all the other kids who die around the world every day, and that is exactly what this memorial (and the streets, and parks, etc.) seems to be doing.

  24. Saskatchewan Gal January 21, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    Also yes – please no more “Canada/Saskatchewan” sucks comments :)

  25. Marcy T January 21, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    Actually I think that memorial park idea is great and is in keeping with what has been suggested above. Instead of spending money pointlessly on unwanted statues or unplayed with toys, they can invest money in their own neighbourhood, on something local children will benefit from, and the Sandy Hook memorial plaque will assuage some of the omnipresent grief and guilt of the local citizens.

  26. Suzanne January 21, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    I’m sure a tragedy of this nature deserves some sort of memorial but it should be should be absolutely designed locally to meet the needs of the the survivors and victims’ families. And may just be a plaque or sometime similarly simple.

  27. Freedomforkids January 21, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    I live in Newtown, CT., and there is already a statue of a woman with a couple of kids given to us as a memorial gesture for the Sandy Hook shootings. The statue(s) are at present standing in a new “Healing Center” here in town, but I don’t know as of yet where it will end up.

    I can’t speak for my whole town, of course, but as for me I personally would not like to see memorials around every corner–forever. Moments of forgetting are a blessing.

  28. pentamom January 21, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Donna, I’m not really surprised, either, I just think it’s a point worth making. As long as people like Mrs. Lanza keep getting treated like they aren’t just as much victims as everybody else, I’m going to point out what garbage that is, as appropriate opportunity offers.

    And on another note, as an American, I agree with the people who are protesting the Canada-bashing. People do dumb things all over North America. There’s nothing really distinctively Canadian as opposed to U.S. American about this.

  29. EricS January 21, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Cop, doctors, teachers, politicians…they are all human, with human flaws and weaknesses. The cop has a bleeding heart. And like many, feels the need to do something about it. Sadly, some people even do this sort of thing to get ‘recognized’. After all, if that memorial statue goes up, his community takes credit for it. Not saying that is his intentions, but I would never discount it.

    I do agree that this is something that isn’t necessary. Considering the money they would front, could go towards their community, whom I’m certain could use the funds more. Also taking into consideration that many other people are probably thinking to do the same. So the thousands spent, will just be among the thousands others are feeling they want to put in. Personally, I wouldn’t want a statue of the fallen erected in the school. For many, it would just be a constant reminder of the what was lost. And would be hard to move on. I’m sure their hearts are in the right place, but haven’t really thought it through beyond their emotional reaction.

  30. Owen Allen January 22, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    Not on this issue but thought some of the readers might like to see how a conversation with a sport shooter can evolve in a positive fashion, with a possibility of how to start moving community towards consensus around an issue such as gun laws which has more to do with moving the cultural viewpoint as changing laws. http://owen59.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/community-disarmament-requires-an-ontological-approach/

  31. Saskatchewan Gal January 22, 2013 at 8:04 am #


    Follow up article in The Star Phoenix today.

  32. Moonie January 22, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    @Karen – I’m Canadian. From Ontario actually. So I guess it’s Saskatchewan that needs to smarten up. Mea culpa.

  33. motherfirst January 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    This officer obviously does not have children. I would never want to drive by this daily and be reminded of this horrific event. Let parents find their own way to grieve.