Trumbull Linked Together

By Melissa Giblin
EE Staff Writer

Upon returning to school after the horrible tragedy that occurred on Friday, December 14 in Newtown, the hallways of Trumbull High School were flooded with green and white, Sandy Hook’s colors, attempting to show support for Trumbull’s neighbors.

It was a solemn day on December 17, 2012, almost uncomfortable, as everyone grieved individually and was unsure of whether or not it was okay to speak of the tragedy to those beside them. One thing was clear: every person wanted to do something to reach out to the Sandy Hook community and express his or her condolences.

This is exactly what Links of Love did for Trumbull High School. It brought the entire student body together at a time when they all needed each other, and another community needed us. For the entire day, Monday, December 17, not only were the colors green and white present in the attire of the students and staff, but they ran along the walls of the school in the form of a paper chain. This chain, called Links of Love, contained hand-written messages from THS students and staff intended for the members of the Sandy Hook community.

Links of Love provided THS students who did not know how to react, an opportunity to express their emotions about the tragic situation. At a time where positivity was almost unimaginable, THS linked together to create something constructive.

The slips were available first thing Monday morning after the tragedy. Every student was permitted and encouraged to create a link for the chain. The opportunity was not exclusive to certain classes, and by the end of the day most students had heard about it. Slips of paper were available in the Media Center, classrooms, and the largest stack was found outside Mr. McCaffrey’s room, where the idea originated.

Senior Kylie Rotanelli commented, “All day I heard about the links. Everyone kept asking me if I had made one yet. It seemed important to the students that the word was spread so that everyone would contribute.”

By 10 am on Tuesday, December 18th, links had been made. This extraordinary number of links in the paper chain, more than 2100, surpassed expectation. Only 2000 slips of paper were originally prepared.

Once stapled together, the chain was temporarily hung throughout the hallways of THS. It was amazing for the students and faculty to see the hanging chain, knowing they were a part of its creation. It truly lifted their spirits in a time when they needed a little boost and it helped them to deal with the situation in a healthy way.

“When I saw the chain for the first time it gave me a warm feeling inside, I can’t explain it. It was awesome to see how so many students contributed and it reassured me that there is goodness in this world,” said THS student Rami Mohammed.

A video of the chain was recorded and put on YouTube, where it received over 1,600 views. The students, staff, and community reactions to the project were overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Everyone was eager to participate. Not only was Trumbull High School impressed with the creation, but it received outside praise and admiration as seen when a THS parent spoke of the chain on the 99.9 radio station. The links truly symbolized unity within the walls of Trumbull High, and their willingness to come together in a time of need.

Once the chain was complete, it was boxed up and brought to Newtown, to be hung in the hallways of the temporary elementary school. It was intended to become an addition to the school. As the Newtown students walked down the hallways of their new school, they could admire the chain made by other students, containing words of love and encouragement and their school colors. Hopefully, they would feel a sense of comfort.

2 Responses to Trumbull Linked Together

  1. Cristen Yakush says:

    Participating in making the links of love was a great feeling knowing I was contributing to the Newtown Victims as a community. This was a great reflection of Trumbull High’s ability to put aside anything related to our own school and come together as a community.

  2. Kylie Rotanelli says:

    I thought what Trumbull High did was really special and no other schools did anything like it so I’m glad Newtown was able to know that they have our support. I am also selling car magnets for 5.00$ to raise money for the Sandy Hook School fund, everyone buy one!!!!!!!!!!

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