Public invited to Thursday memorial service for Emilie Parker

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 19 2012 6:55 p.m. MST

Friends and well-wishers tie pink ribbons in an Ogden neighborhood to show support for the family of 6-year-old Emilie Parker on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Emilie was among the 20 children killed in the deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Her parents, Robbie and Alyssa Parker, are from Ogden.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

OGDEN — The family of a 6-year-old girl killed in Connecticut's tragic school shooting has announced a public memorial service for community members wishing to support and grieve with them.

The service honoring Emilie Parker, the Utah native who as among 20 schoolchildren killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., last week, will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in the atrium at Ben Lomond High School, 1080 9th St.

"This has become more than just their family grieving. It's a community grieving, and they want to grieve with you," said Jill Cottle Garrett, Emilie Parker's aunt and spokeswoman for the family.

Community members are also invited to line Monroe Boulevard between the Rock Cliffs LDS Stake Center, 1000 Suncrest Drive, and Myers Evergreen Memorial Park, 100 Monroe Blvd., wearing pink or holding pink daisies in the little girl's honor.

The funeral will be private, Garrett said, allowing the family to focus on Emilie during that time.

As Emilie Parker's parents returned from Connecticut in preparation for this weekend's funeral, they were met by the silent outpouring of love left by Utahns who hung pink ribbons throughout the Ogden neighborhood where they grew up and along the Wasatch Front, Garrett said.

"They drove in and were flooded with pink ribbons," Garrett said. "It was very emotional for them. They not only felt your love throughout these past few days but felt a warm embrace as they came into Utah."

McKenzie Romero

Twitter: @McKenzieRomero

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