Dozens gather on Christmas Eve to honor Newtown victims - New York News

Dozens gather on National Mall on Christmas Eve to honor Newtown victims

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WASHINGTON -

There was an outpouring of support on the National Mall Monday afternoon for the victim's of the Sandy Hook school tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Dozens of local mothers, fathers and children gathered to join hands and sing songs in a community centered Christmas Eve event called "Circle Up for Kids."

The event is based on a classic scene from the Dr. Seuss children's tale, "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." It was organized by Kensington, Md. mom, Kristin O'Keefe.

"There's that beautiful scene where all the Whos down in Whoville, despite their adversity, gather together, the tall and small, and they lifted their voices in song, and it just seemed like just a beautiful, hopeful moment that we decided to replicate it here in Washington," says O'Keefe.

In the shadow of the Washington Monument, the group held hands and sang Christmas carols. Some wiped away tears as they held each other in the cold breeze.

"I think it impacted people so deeply and we've been so sad, and we just felt like, especially this time of year, it's the right thing to do," says Chevy Chase mom Kathleen Wilks.

12-year-old Owen Hopkins adds, "I felt it was my duty to come and honor them with my family."

Many say attending the event is helping them come to better terms with the tragedy in Newtown.

"We can't be there and we understand that they're suffering there and this helps us in some way," says Alphonse McDonald, a father of two boys.

"Just to show that we care and that we're thinking about them, that they're in our hearts this holiday season and always," says Holly Gross.

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