A Toledo man who built a memorial to the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy last month, recently saw his work torn down and vandalized. Larry Ocheske soon discovered that an anonymous person dropped off several large wreathes to restore the memorial.
Ocheske built the original memorial three years ago to honor the three missing Skelton boys from Morenci, Michigan. After the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, he felt compelled to add to his memorial at the Old Amtrak Village near the intersection of Logan and Emerald.
"It wouldn't be right just to do the three boys," said Ocheske. He continued, "I'm gonna do a display for Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, and that's why I did it."
On January 17th, Ocheske was heartbroken to find the dedication wreath he and his wife Susan put up, had been torn down by vandals.
"Why would someone tear it down," questioned Ocheske. "That hurts you more than anything."
The fate of the memorial looked grim, until an anonymous person left a glimmer of hope.
"Somebody came by and left these Christmas wreathes," Ocheske beamed. "All I can tell you is his name was Matt."
Inspired by the anonymous act of good-will, Ocheske worked from 10 a.m. until about 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, creating a wreath for the children and adults who passed away in the Newtown tragedy. The first names of all the victims are written in the wreaths.
Ocheske plans to send two oversized Valentine's Day cards to Sandy Hook Elementary, after obtaining signatures from anyone who wants to send their prayers. He will collect signatures at the memorial site from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.