COLUMBIA — More than 130 people gathered on the north porch of Jesse Hall on Monday afternoon to remember the victims of shootings Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
People came with family, coworkers and friends to stand together. "Enough is enough," Chancellor Brady Deaton told the gathering. "We can't allow this to happen again."
More people joined in as the group slowly followed Deaton and his wife, Anne Deaton, who together carried a wreath and laid it at the MU Columns.
The wreath had a green and white ribbon — green for harmony and white for purity, the chancellor said. He said the wreath represents "unyielding hopes for the future." A sign next to it said, "The Mizzou Family honors the children and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary."
On Friday morning, 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza shot 26 people at the school, including 20 children. Before that, Lanza shot his mother at their home. Afterward, Lanza committed suicide at the school.
As the wreath was placed at MU, the bell in Switzler Hall rang 26 times.
Lauren Francis, a graduate student in music history, came to the memorial. "My brother is a teacher, and he would have done the same things as the teachers did," she said. "I don’t have kids, but I have a nephew. I know that the children won’t be back, but I want to do anything to help."
Charlie Allen was introduced by Deaton as a former resident of Newtown, Conn. Later in an interview, Allen, who works at the MU Research Reactor Center, said he attended Sandy Hook Elementary School from 1958 to 1962.
"I wanted to come to thank the people of the state of Missouri for expressing sorrow and grief," Allen said.
"(The shooting) really caused me to be reminiscent over my childhood," he said. He remembered where he grew up, the teachers and how he used to get in trouble because he "wasn’t a good student."
"That’s where I started my educational career," he said. "I recognized a last name (of one of the victims) — it could’ve been a grandson of one of my classmates."
"I’m the kind of person that would say that it would never happen at my hometown," Allen said.
He said Newtown's historical significance was that the French general Rochambeau camped there on his way to the Battle of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War.
"Now it’s overshadowed," Allen said. "Now it will be remembered as a place of atrocity."
Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.