Stick figure statues honor 20 children who died in Newtown


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Stick figure statues honor 20 children who died in Newtown

By Gabrielle Sarann. CREATED Feb 11, 2013

NORTH PORT, Fla. - On a quiet cul-de-sac in North Port, there's a makeshift memorial.

"I tried to make them so they'd last forever," said John Kozan, 71, of North Port.

Stick figures remember the eight boys and 12 girls who died at Sandy Hook Elementary. 

"When old people die, it's one thing," said Kozan. "And when kids die, it's for no reason."

All 20 names are engraved on stainless steel name plates. Each one is unique. The bows are positioned differently. No hand gesture is the same. 

"How long does it take to make one?" asked Fox 4 reporter Gabrielle Sarann. "About a day," replied Kozan.

Kozan began making the smiley statues 12 years ago for his grandchildren. The prototype is in his backyard. 

"It was a smaller one to hang your clothes on before they went to bed instead of throwing them on the floor," explained Kozan.

Today, he passes his time in a shed out back and at a small welding shop about five miles from his home.

"I got a little welding shop," said Kozan, a retired welder for General Motors in Michigan. "I go in and I go over there and that's my day instead of sitting around here on the couch watching soap operas."

Kozan uses a vice and protective mask, among other tools, to bend metals and carve statues.

"What went into making these?" asked Sarann. "Lots of work," he replied.

Kozan's hope is the stick figures make it to Newtown. That someone can ship them. 

"I would like to see them go up north or into a park where they can walk through the park and see them," explained Kozan.

But until then. "Is this their place? Do they stay out here [in your driveway]?," asked Sarann. "Yes, they stay out here until I find a home for them," replied Kozan. " Then, they're gone. The memory will still be there though."

Kozan's wish is for all 20 to go to a good home but he says they can't be separated. 

He says he's also open to them going to a park in Florida. A place they can be remembered. If you'd like to send a donation to help get them there, call Kozan on his cell at (941) 815-6127.