COLUMBUS — The somber sound of bells tolling 26 times resounded across Ohio on Friday as the state joined the rest of the nation and Connecticut in observing the one-week mark since a massacre at an elementary school killed 20 children and six adults.
Places of worship from Cincinnati to Cleveland and beyond tolled their bells 26 times at 9:30 a.m., the time the shooting began at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14.
The Rev. Richard Burnett, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Columbus, said a tolling of the bells can be a memorial, a call to prayer or a call to action.
“I think all of those things at one level or another can speak to people in our community a week after the tragedy of the massacre,” he told the Columbus Dispatch.
The Rev. Virginia Lohmann Bauman of St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church told the newspaper that the goal was to let the people of Newtown know they’re not alone.
“We are standing in solidarity with those who weep and grieve,” she said.