Straight from the heart to Sandy Hook students

LAKE STEVENS — Bianca Brightwell touched the red teddy bear hanging on a small tree in her front yard.

The Glenwood Elementary School fourth grade student explained that her toy was part of a memorial to remember the 20 children who died during a Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“The bear was a good choice because he’s holding a heart,” she said.

Bianca, 9, helped her parents, Bill and Jessica Brightwell, string to the tree eight blue and 12 pink ribbons to represent the boys and girls who were gunned down along with six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She added the teddy bear, a stuffed blue rabbit, and two small wrapped gifts.

“I put the gifts on and the teddy bear on,” Bianca said. “The teddy bear stands for their toys and the gifts are for the gifts they wanted for Christmas.”

The girl, who enjoys studying science and going to taekwondo class, first learned about the shooting on the day it happened. She talked to her parents, teacher and friends about the tragedy.

Her school held a moment of silence, Bianca said. She and other students in John Trivett’s class are writing letters that will be mailed to Sandy Hook Elementary.

“I’m telling about what we did on our front yard for them and we have to draw a picture,” Bianca said. “I told them that the world is thinking about them.”

Making the memorial was the least their family could do, said Jessica Brightwell. Their front yard is often a place for kids in the neighborhood to play together, she added.

“If it gets dry maybe we’ll have a lot of kids put something on the tree,” Brightwell said. “Those helpless kids didn’t do anything. It hurts.”

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491;

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