Neighbors honor victims of Conn. shooting

SYCAMORE – Kristen Miller and Kalie Kuhl felt compelled to show their support for the families of the shooting victims in Newtown, Conn. any way they could.

They led an effort by neighbors in the Reston Ponds subdivision in Sycamore to display 27 luminaria to honor the 26 students and teachers killed and the shooter’s slain mother.

“I’m a mom and I have young kids,” Kuhl said. “And it hit us especially hard with the story of the twins, since I have multiples.”

Kuhl is mother to a set of triplets, and Miller is mother to a pair of twins. Both mothers are keenly aware of the uncannily tight bonds between twins and triplets, or “multiples,” and were devastated when they heard that Arielle Pozner, 6, of Newtown lost her twin brother, Noah, in the mass shooting on Dec. 14.

“You just want to do something that says to Connecticut, ‘We feel your grief,’” Miller said. “When we heard (about Noah Pozner) on Sunday we knew we had to do something.”

Through word of mouth, text messages, and Facebook messages the two mothers contacted their neighbors on Thurow Street about their idea on Sunday, Dec. 16. By 8 p.m. that night support for their idea quickly spread to the entire subdivision and they had 20 families committed to display the luminaria.

Miller and Kuhl bought brown paper bags, sand, Dixie cups and candles for 35 luminaria kits and by 6 p.m. Tuesday, 30 neighbors had picked up kits, reimbursed the women $5 for their cost, and set up the luminaria along sidewalks and in driveways to show support.

“Everybody was saying how much they appreciate being able to express their grief,” Miller said.

Although winds, rain and snow destroyed many of the luminaria last week, Kuhl plans to use the extra lighting kits to keep nightly vigil as long as possible.

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