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HMH to shut off Christmas lights tonight to honor shooting victims

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Health system says it is a way to show respect for families

By Marty Finley

Hardin Memorial Health is unplugging its Christmas lights at its main campus on North Dixie Avenue and related facilities under its management to show its sorrow for the tragic shooting last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that claimed the lives of more than two dozen people, including 20 children.

Michelle Murphy, director of marketing and public relations, said both hospital administrators and staff have been gripped by the loss and were looking for a way to show support, hearing from Owensboro and other communities around the country who are taking similar steps.

"I think everyone in our organization has been touched by this incident," she said.

HMH sent out emails to employees and shared its plans publicly on its website and Facebook page. Murphy said the health system has received a flood of positive feedback from residents, many of whom have pledged to stand with HMH by keeping their homes dark tonight.

"Communities across the nation are choosing different ways to show their support and we ask that our community join in doing the same," HMH said in an official statement.