Bells across Alaska rang at 9:30 Friday morning in memory of the 26 victims who were shot to death one week ago at an elementary school in Connecticut.
The state capitol building bell was struck 26 times, and as it faded church bells throughout Juneau could be heard.
Gov. Sean Parnell ordered the bell to be rung, as part of a “Day of Mourning” declared by Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, who called upon all Americans to observe a moment of silence at 9:30 local time while bells tolled.
Twenty children, all six and seven years old, and six faculty members died at the hands of a gunman on December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The gunman also took his mother’s life. Her body was found at home.
State capitol custodial supervisor Paul David Duran rang the capitol building bell. It was a cold job, with temperatures in the low teens and howling winds.
“Very proud to do it. I have a two, a four and a six year old. I can only hope nothing like that would ever happen,” Duran said.
Gov. Parnell and First Lady Sandy Parnell were among the few dozen people who congregated for the capitol ceremony.
Alaska’s capitol building bell is a full-scale replica of the original Liberty Bell and was given to the Alaska territory by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1950. It is rung at the governor’s discretion.
- Juneau Finance Director Bob Bartholomew projected Gov. Bill Walker’s veto of about half of dividend funds will cost the city.
- Only three votes now separate two northern Alaska House candidates. Dean Westlake of Kotzebue has 780 votes, ahead of 777 votes for incumbent Rep. Ben Nageak, who’s from Barrow.
- Bus passes, child-care assistance, work clothing and other resources to get low-income tribal members into jobs are being cut in seven Southeast Communities..
- The U.S. Northern Command and Coast Guard have launched a major field-training exercise off Alaska’s northwest coast. Arctic Chinook is intended to demonstrate how local, state and federal agencies would respond to a simulated cruise ship accident. Coincidentally, a big luxury cruise ship will sail through the area while the exercise is under way. And to further complicate things, bad weather has just set in.