Sandy Hook memorial playground breaks ground

MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) – On a cold, windy April afternoon in Mystic, ground broke Thursday on what will be the 19th memorial playground honoring a young victim of the Sandy Hook School shooting in December 2012.

The Where Angels Play project playground will be behind the Mystic YMCA along the banks of the Mystic River. It will honor the life of Grace McDonnell.

“Grace absolutely enjoyed the beach, the water, looking for seashells, so this is a very fitting place,” said Chris McDonnell, Grace’s father.

Mystic is also a special place for Chris and Lynn McDonnell. They were engaged here 23 years ago. Now that same community is coming together for their family and for their little girl.

The truck delivering the playground pieces was a bit delayed but that won’t slow down these volunteers.

“As soon as it gets here we’ve got light towers coming and we’re going to work through the night to get it done,” said Mystic asst. fire chief Anthony Manfredi.

“On Sunday, when it’s unveiled, you’ll see images of her and what she loved to do and themes of the beach and so forth,” McDonnell said.

Lynn McDonnell tells News 8 that on Sunday when the playground is dedicated she will be doing some of the talking and she shared with us some of those special touches that will help it embody Grace’s spirit.

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