Updated: 12/21/2012 6:45 P.M.
Friday morning, the bell tolled 26 times from the Wood County Courthouse, in honor of those who died at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The somber ceremony was preceeded by a moment of silence by courthouse by county employees.
County Assessor Rich Shaffer volunteered to ring the bell, but had to get some help when the rope he was using broke.
"The cord broke on about the ninth ring," Shaffer said later, "so one of the other guys crawled under the bell and rang it with th clapper from the ninth ring up to the 26th."
The courthouse bell has rung during a number of observances over the years, including the September 11th attacks and the Virginia Tech shootings.
No question about it. The Connecticut shootings shocked the nation.
But in this holiday season, they may also have had a positive effect.
Normally, at this time of the year, one of the stories we're usually highlighting is holiday stress and depression.
But Kimberly Dixon, Crisis Director for Westbrook Health Services, believes, ironic as it may be, this tragedy may be bringing people together.
We've heard stories about people reaching out to their children more, after last Ffriday's deadly shootings.
Dixon believes this has helped people remember what the holidays are all about.
"I think a tragedy of this magnitude helps us think about what is really important," she says, "and we stop our busy lives for a few moments to hug our children and spend some extra time with the people we love."
Dixon understands parents' reluctance to send their youngsters to school after the shootings.
But she adds Mid-Ohio Valley agencies are prepared to respond to such an incident.
Westbrook Health Service's Crisis Hotline is (304) 485-1725...its toll-free number is 1-800-579-5844.
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