As the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre approaches, memorials and tributes are popping up all over the country. While Newtown, Connecticut wants December 14th to be low key, others want to honor the 20 first graders and six adults gunned down that day.
Two brothers from Cranston are remembering the victims through a Christmas lights display in their front yard. The lights have been attracting attention from passerby's for years. The brothers who live on Wayland avenue spend months getting it all set up, but this year took even more preparation because they were determined to make a special spot to remember the victims of Sandy Hook.
"I have the lights up here so you can make it as illuminated as you could so you can actually read that," explained Matt Lodge.
22-year-old Matt lodge and his 20-year-old brother Ben, have crafted their families Christmas display for years. This year, a part of their work is stopping traffic.
"These smaller candy canes right here symbolize all the children," said Lodge.
The URI students say they were so touched by the Sandy Hook massacre that they felt compelled to bring attention to it.
Matt Lodge said, "Thinking that somebody could even walk in there and do that to somebody to 26 people that were innocent especially the 20 children that didn't even have a chance to start their lives."
Ben Lodge said, "I mean it really hurt me and I felt it in my heart and I really wanted to, especially going into the holiday season rather than only remembering the tragedy, remember this beautiful tribute and celebrate the lives of those that were lost."
They found 20 small candy canes to symbolize the 20 children killed and 6 taller ones for the adults. When it came time to paint the names on the wood boards, it really hit home.
"The more I did it and the more time we put into this, the more we realized how significant this event was, and how tragic it was," explained Ben Lodge.
The display had cars on Wayland Avenue rolling by. Some even came to a stop, compelled to donate.
Kathy Voccola stopped to donate, "It's pretty compelling I don't think we should ever forget what happened at Sandy Hook and I think these boys are doing a great thing, so that we can all remember and pray for these folks."
Dan Cote also stopped to donate, "It's a stark reminder of what happened, and you know it's a difficult thing to look at and realize there's a lot of little kids families that don't have their children this year."
The lodge brothers didn't know their tribute would touch people as much as it has
"It's not a ton, but it's better than nothing," said Ben.
The brothers have set up donation boxes along their fence, including one for Sandy Hook. There are boxes for causes like Philippine relief and the Gloria Gemma foundation, their mother is a breast cancer survivor.
They invite people to come and check out their display and help support these causes. They hope to donate the Sandy Hook sign to the victim's families.