Missing From Newtown Memorials: Nancy Lanza

'26 acts of kindness' campaign just one example

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 20, 2012 8:39 AM CST

(Newser) – Twenty-seven people were murdered in the Newtown shootings, but the number cited—in memorials, in the media, and by the president—is often just 26. Nancy Lanza is often left out of the victim count amid the anger, the Washington Post reports. "Why would a woman who had a son like this, who clearly had serious issues, keep assault rifles in the house and teach him how to shoot them?" a local parent asks. "To deal with that, there’s a feeling here that we’re just going to focus on the 26 innocent people who died at the school."

Thus, outside the school, there are just 26 Christmas trees memorializing the victims; a UConn basketball pre-game ceremony Monday featured just 26 candles; President Obama named just 26 people in his speech at a service. Some who knew Lanza are frustrated by the trend: One local, viewing the speech at Lanza's favorite bar, murmured, "Seven," when Obama mentioned six adult victims. Meanwhile, Ann Curry has called on well-wishers to honor the victims by performing 26, not 27, acts of kindness. The idea was her response to her own question: "What can I do?" Now, "26acts" has been trending on Twitter and a Facebook page has garnered more than 26,000 "likes," the AP reports. What people have done so far, via BuzzFeed:

  • Left a quarter in the slot of a candy machine.
  • "Let my 4-year-old pick a car to leave flowers on at Walgreens."
  • Bought coffee for a security guard.
  • Gave a 100% tip.
  • Donated toys to hospitals and elsewhere.
  • Bought a custodian new shoes.

A Newtown resident holds roses as he visits a memorial for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.
A Newtown resident holds roses as he visits a memorial for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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