NEWTOWN, Conn., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Officials in Newtown, Conn., say they will distribute sympathy cards, letters and other items sent after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra said Tuesday families of the 20 children and six adults shot and killed Dec. 14 will be permitted beginning Sunday to choose first which items they want to keep, The Hartford Courant reported. Beginning Feb. 3, families and staff at other Newtown schools will be permitted to choose items not claimed by Sandy Hook survivors, and the rest of Newtown's population will be invited to sort through what remains beginning Feb. 10.
The community has received 125,000 hand-drawn cards, letters and other pieces of mail -- some from as far away as the Netherlands. People have also sent pictures of rainbows, origami and other handcrafted items, and a woodworker in Rhode Island sent a large wooden cross, the newspaper said.
Any items remaining after Newtown residents have chosen what they wish to keep will be handled in the same manner as materials used in roadside memorials to Sandy Hook, which have been collected and sorted into organic and non-organic groups.
Organic material is being composted into "sacred soil" and other matter will be made into commemorative blocks that officials envision using in a permanent memorial, the Courant said.