Newtown, Connecticut, home to 30,000 people, is a fairly peaceful county. Nowadays, the peace is replaced by a different kind of silence as the whole town mourns the deaths of 20 children and 7 adults who died in the Sandy Hook tragedy. The emotional impact to the whole town brought hundreds to join the vigils and attend wakes.
Anguish over the unthinkable violence in Sandy Hook Elementary School was felt as a big crowd of mourners gathered in the Newtown High School auditorium. Reverend Matt Crebbin said that the people of Newtown needed to be together and show resilience over the recent mishap.
Among those who showed support is President Obama who visited the suburban community in Newtown and joined in the memorial service on Sunday. He met with the families privately before the memorial service. He comforted the families’ victims with kind words saying that he offers the love and prayers of the nation. He lifted the late principal’s granddaughter and said that he was proud of the heroism of Principal Dawn Hochsprung, who also died in her attempt to protect the children from the shooter.
The President also expressed his gratitude to the first responders in the horrific shooting. The responders attended the ceremony and they received a standing ovation followed by gracious hugs from the townspeople. Fragile children were held close by their parents, a sign of remorse and fear brought about by fresh wounds. Almost 1,000 people attended the ceremony but were told to disperse after the police received threats against the church.
Meanwhile funeral homes were filled in with friends and families who want to pay their last respects to the victims. Deep grief continued as the burials begin. Two small caskets contained the bodies of six-year-olds Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto. Noah has a twin sister, Arielle who made it out of the tragedy alive but shaken. Noah’s obituary had a touching message befitting a beloved son. His mother told friends that Noah never forgot to tell her how much he loved her. A close to 100 mourners was at his funeral in Fairfield including Connecticut Governor Malloy.
At Jack Pinto’s funeral, he is deeply remembered by wrestling teammates as they took off their medals and handed them to Jack’s parents. Everyone remembers him as an active joyful boy who loved sports. These are just the first two of many burials that will happen this week. Another casualty, six-year old Jessica Rekos will be buried on Tuesday.