Across the area, the state and the country, bells will toll 26 times Friday morning in honor of each student and staff member killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proclaimed Dec. 21 a day of mourning in Connecticut. He has called for a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. and requested that houses of worship and government buildings equipped to do so ring bells 26 times.
Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra and other elected officials and residents plan to meet on the steps of Edmond Town Hall in Newtown for the moment of silence, as bells from the nearby Trinity Episcopal Church ring 26 times.
"I think it's a wonderful way to mark that moment, to run the bell," Mecca said Thursday. "When people hear the bells, they will stop and think of those who died and say a prayer."
According to a statement from Malloy's office, he wrote to every governor in the United States, asking each state to consider joining Connecticut a time of reflection on Friday morning.
"Let us all come together collectively to mourn the loss of far too many promising lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School," Malloy said. "Though we will never know the full measure of sorrow experienced by these families, we can let them know that we stand with them during this difficult time."
Western Connecticut State University will ring bells at its Alumni Hall. Traditionally, they chime every 15 minutes and then on the hour, but they will be reprogrammed for this moment, Western spokesman Sherri Hill said Thursday.
"We're all affected by the tragedy, but we at the university also have a personal connection,'' Hill said. "The daughter of music professor Jimmy Greene (Ana Marquez-Greene) died in the shooting, and student Thomas Murphy lost his mother, Anne Marie Murphy," who was a paraprofessional in the school.
"I think it's a wonderful thing,'' Danbury resident Katherin Sniffin said of the bells. Sniffin is head of the science program at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, which went into lock down during the shooting at the Sandy Hook school, which is about a mile away.
The National Council of Churches reported on its website that many of its 100,000 member communions around the country will ring church bells Friday morning.
Before the bells ring, the Rev. Michael Livingston, director of the Washington Office of Interfaith Worker Justice, plans to join faith leaders in a press conference at 9 a.m. Friday, in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress and President Barack Obama "to take meaningful action to address the national epidemic of gun violence."