STANFORD — One week after the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 people dead, a small group of Stanford residents gathered in the downtown parking garage for a moment of silence and to put their signatures on a banner commemorating the victims.
The moment of silence Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. was one of many observed across the nation in memory of the 20 elementary school students and six staff who died Dec. 14.
The shooter, who killed his mother before heading to Sandy Hook Elementary School, killed himself at the scene.
"It's hard to imagine the impact such an event would have on a small town," Stanford Mayor Bill Miracle said. "I'm sure everybody … is affected in some way."
Stanford is displaying a banner with the names and ages of the victims in front of the city parking garage and inviting everyone to come by and sign their names on it, Miracle said.
Councilman Mike Southerland also attended the moment of silence and said he thinks the idea of signing the banner will catch on in the community.
Councilman Eddie Carter said the horrible events in Newtown show that everyone needs to make more of an effort to care for those in need, especially those on the margins of society.
"It's unimaginable. These are 5-year-old kids — they couldn't be more innocent," he said. "As a society, I think we all got to try to maybe do a little better. I think we all have an obligation."
Miracle said there was an increased presence from Stanford police at Lincoln County schools following the Newtown tragedy and after the first of the year, he plans on seeing if a regular plan can be worked out to get officers in the schools more frequently.
At Lincoln County High School, Principal Tim Godbey said faculty and staff have been reviewing their emergency management plan and counselors have been made available to students for any questions or concerns they may have.
Godbey said Superintendent Karen Hatter has called a meeting of all district principals in January to review emergency management plans as well.