On the one week anniversary of the Newtown school shooting, vigils and various acts of remembrance for the victims will take place, such as the ringing of church bells, in communities around the nation.
Hauppauge Fire Department has chosen to take part in the national commemoration of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims by sounding their alarm once at 9:45 a.m. Friday.
"We are presently installing a new siren system and at this time it is the best we are able to do, system not fully installed," said RoseAnn Mariani, spokeswoman for the Hauppauge Fire Department, in a written statement.
The Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services sent out a memo to all county fire departments on Thursday noting that they could, if they chose to, sound their alarms 26 times on Friday morning at 9:45 in honor of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy and as a way to honor fellow firefighters and EMS personnel.
Hauppauge's siren will only be sounded once, likely for a full minute if the system is capable, according to Mariani.
Joe Williams, the commissioner of Suffolk FRES, said his department is not advocating for the commemoration, but that the memo was sent out on behalf of fire departments that said they wanted to do it. "We're not telling them to do it. We have no authority to tell them do it," Williams said.
"Naturally everybody is concerned," Williams said that people won't know what the sirens are for exactly. He hoped the departments will spread the word. "I know for a fact that not every department is participating."
Some fire departments, including East Hampton and Sag Harbor, have already opted out of the commemoration, fearing that 26 sirens may cause local residents to panic and call 911. Firefighters say many residents are on edge after the violent attacks and Friday marks the day the Mayans predicted the world would end.
Other nearby fire departments, such as Commack Fire Department, will sound their siren the full 26 times to show their support for the Newtown victims, their families and first responders.
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