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Letter: Keep Newtown school as a shrine

A makeshift memorial near the entrance to the

A makeshift memorial near the entrance to the grounds of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 18, 2012. Credit: Getty Images

As Newtown residents debate what should be done with the Sandy Hook Elementary School, I would remind them that there is a value in that building that goes beyond the memories it dredges up ["Sandy Hook kids head back to school in new building," News, Jan. 3]. Just like the German concentration camps, this school could be a permanent reminder of the evil that occurred there. It could be a museum that shines a light on the dangers of gun violence and mental illness.

The world needs a constant reminder of the problems of violent crime. I would donate generously to help establish such a shrine. Other people, I'm sure, would also donate. In the aftermath of natural disasters, texting numbers have been set up to allow people to donate $10 to relief funds. A similar program could be used for a Sandy Hook Elementary School memorial against gun violence.

Right now, the wounds of the tragedy are very fresh, as some citizens of Newtown discuss destroying the site. Many just want to put the event behind them as quickly as possible. However, if they want to memorialize those who died and those who acted heroically, they should look beyond the short term.

Richard Weiss, Valley Stream