Honoring the 'Sandy Hook Elementary' victims

Crosses line the roadway paying respect to the victims of the 'Sandy Hook' shootings. / Matt Prichard

In Mitchell County, 27 crosses line the roadway paying tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. Donna Thomas and her family have been teaching for three generations, which they say inspired them to build the memorials.

"Having small grandchildren, and I worked in education for 31 years, and my daughter still teaches school. And so there were a lot of levels we could relate to," said home owner, Donna Thomas.

Minutes after hearing the news, Thomas had her son-in-law build the crosses and set them in honor of the fallen victims.

"They asked me and my father-in-law to put them together, so we built the 27 crosses, put em' together, got em' painted and put em' up. Remembering all the children and all the people that lost their lives at the school," said son-in-law, Jacob Fallin.

And each cross is a little bit different.

"We wanted each cross the represent an individual victim. So 8 of the crosses have little boy toys on them, 12 of the crosses have little girl toys, 6 of the crosses have a gold apple," said Thomas's daughter.

The final cross is for the shooters mother, who is represented by a gold butterfly. Thomas also shared her thoughts on the shooter, who they believe is merely a victim of a flawed system.

"It's our society and the way we're handling kids that are bullied, that have mental health issues,that do not fit into society, we're dropping the ball with those kids early on," said Thomas.

If you'd like to visit the memorial, it's located on the corner of County Line Road, and Pleasant Grove, in Mitchell County.

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