A bell dedicated to those who died in Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was stolen hours after it was placed at a new Long Island, NY playground.
The eight-inch by eight-inch brass bell was discovered missing around 1 p.m. Sunday from Island Park playground, Nassau County police say. It was last seen approximately at 9 p.m. Saturday.
“The parents were there and there was hundreds of people and it was a tearful things,” Village trustee Henry Hastava told WCBS 880.
The community completed a two day project on Saturday to construct the playground. It is one of 26 dedicated to the victims in the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn. A total of 20 children and six educators were killed. Each playground shows one of the Sandy Hook victims’ likes and interests.
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The playground was in honor of Caroline Previdi, 6, according to Bill Lavin, founder of the Sandy Ground Project that is behind the playgrounds.
“I just hope that this particular incident doesn’t tarnish the beautiful project in any way,” he told 1010 WINS.
Lavin said he is sure that whoever took the bell would not have taken it if he or she knew its meaning.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “The way the project has been, it’s been blessed from the very beginning. So all I could think of is whoever took the bell must have needed it more than they did on the playground, but I think if they knew the significance of it, they certainly would have left it alone.”
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The bell has the number 26 inscribed in it and says, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.”
Officials say they want the bell returned, no questions asked, according to CBS New York.
Police ask that anyone with information on the bell to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at (800) 244-TIPS.
Sources: Fox News, CBS New York, 1010 WINS, WCBS 880