Candles light up Oak Park to remember Sandy Hook victims

Rachel Rettberg wanted to do something to show her support

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

Some homes in the northwest part of Oak Parkwill be illuminated by candles this week in remembrance of the victims of Friday's school shooting in Connecticut.

Rachel Rettberg, an Oak Park mother to three sons, came up with the idea to put a pillar candle in front of her home, and many of her neighbors on Oak Park Avenue and its side streets followed suit. Rettberg said she felt helpless after hearing about the shooting because she wanted to do something to help.

"You want to show a sign that you're grieving with these families," she said.

On Sunday night, Rettberg decided to email a few friends and neighbors to tell them about the idea. Her sons, ages 4, 8 and 10, also supported it.

She ended up sending the email to a lot more than she initially thought, and those people forwarded it along to others. The email found its way to Facebook as well. Now, Rettberg said the candle-lighting has spread to a few other suburbs because of her email. Her mother in England is doing it too.

Rettberg said she's been "amazed and kind of overwhelmed" at how much her idea caught on. She said she plans to light the candle each night through the weekend. If she did not have plans to leave town on Monday, Rettberg said she would have tried to light the candle for 26 nights — one night for each of the victims killed.

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Rachel from Oak park  

Posted: January 5th, 2013 8:09 AM

My heart breaks at L's comment that lighting candles made participants feel warm and fuzzy. In light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, warm and fuzzy were the absolute last feelings in my heart. I am appreciative for the link to concrete ways of helping the families and community of Sandy Hook. I didn't know how to help in a more concrete way. Maybe we shouldn't judge how people chose to stand in solidarity with those who have experienced tragedy. Maybe we should be thankful for solidarity.


Posted: December 23rd, 2012 11:08 PM

Lighting candles in memory of those lost at sandy hook may make some people feel warm and fuzzy inside. However,folks should consider a more concrete deed to help the families of those murdered. The tribune listed a article with many options to help the grieving community. Link:

Matt from Carmel IN  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 12:32 PM

We also have them lit in Carmel, Indiana and family are participating in Perth, Western Australia. Wonderful.

an Oak Parker  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 9:39 AM

Actually Devin - candles have been appearing ALL OVER Oak Park, not just the Northwest side. We and our neighbors have had ours out on the South West side since Monday night.

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