The bells of the Bowdoin College Chapel tolled 26 times Friday, December 21, in honor of the victims of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The bells rang at 9:30 a.m. in honor of each life lost a week earlier at the school, as Bowdoin participated in a nationwide moment of silence requested by Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy. In a message Thursday afternoon to members of the Bowdoin community, President Barry Mills — who earlier in the week was one of more than 200 American college and university presidents to sign an open letter about gun safety to American policy leaders — urged students, faculty, and staff to participate:
I write to ask that we each take a moment tomorrow morning at 9:30—wherever we are—to participate in the national moment of silence requested by Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy in remembrance of the victims of last week’s shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Our Chapel bells will toll 26 times in honor of each life lost at the school during this terrible event. I hope you will join me and the people of Maine in this national moment of reflection, as we remember this tragic loss of innocent life and resolve as a community, a state, and a nation to do whatever we can to prevent future tragedies like this from ever happening again.