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First Funerals Take Place As two Six-Year-Old Boys Laid to Rest

Hundreds of mourners clogged the narrow  streets of Newtown today for the funeral of six-year-old Jack Pinto, the first  of the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting to be laid to rest.

The little boy was described as an avid  sports fan who loved wrestling and the New York Giants. Jack was buried wearing  the jersey of his favorite player Victor Cruz.

Giants’ receiver  Cruz played in Sunday’s football game  with the boy’s name written all over his  cleats and gloves, saying he was ‘honored’ to have been Jack’s  favorite.

Noah Pozner, who was six, was also laid to  rest on Monday afternoon. Noah was the youngest victim of the  rampage and his  twin sister, Arielle, escaped unhurt.

Grief: A mourner walks into a funeral service for six-year-old Noah Pozner on Monday in Fairfield, Connecticut

The family’s rabbi has said he encouraged  Noah’s mother to focus on her other four  children amid the grief.

People came from all over Connecticut and as  far away as Atlanta to pay their respects. Many did not know the little boys  but were so moved by the horrific murders that they thought it was  important  to show support for the town and the grieving families.

‘It’s love. Sometimes you can’t explain  it.  We just had to be here to show out support,’ said Heidi Faust, who  drove from  Atlanta to Newtown.

The funeral home was packed out, leaving  friends and family members to wait in line in the rain to enter the small  building on Monday.

Children wore Sandy Hook sweatshirts or  jackets from the community’s other  schools as a show of solidarity for the  grief-stricken community.

Most said they were still too shaken to speak  about the tragedy as they  attended the first two of 20 funerals of  schoolchildren massacred in  their classrooms.

Photography agencies confirmed to MailOnline  that their presence was allowed provided they remained at a respectful  distance.

All the child victims were six or  seven  years old. The school principal of Sandy Hook Elementary, the  school  psychologist and four teachers were also gunned down.

The rest of the nation anxiously  sent  children back to school on Monday amid tightened security. Within  hours of the  school day starting, lockdowns were declared in nearby  Connecticut and New York  towns.

In New Jersey, one high school’s morning announcements included an added warning not to let strangers into the  building.

Newtown’s schools remained closed on Monday,  the first academic day since the 20-year-old gunman claimed 28 lives, including  his mother’s and his own.

The funerals come a day after President Obama  visited Newtown to comfort the families. Obama’s remarks were heralded on Monday  morning by relatives of teacher Victoria Soto, 27, who was killed as she tried  to protect her first-grade students.

‘He really made us feel like she really was a  hero and that everyone should know it,’ her brother, Carlos Soto, told  CBS.

At Sunday night’s memorial, Obama offered  words of hope and promises of action to stop future tragedies.

‘We bear responsibility for every child …  This is our first task, caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t  get that right, we don’t get anything right,’ he said.

The President kept his emotions in tighter  check than he did on Friday, when he cried openly while addressing the shooting.  But tears ran freely among mourners in the packed high school auditorium, who  wailed when he read the names of the adults and children killed.

Schools remained closed in Newtown as faculty  members met to decide when they would open again. To keep children occupied on a  drizzling Monday, youth sports groups set up an indoor field day with athletics,  board games and arts and crafts. By early morning, more than 100 children joined  in the activities.

The community will have to make a decision  about what to do with the bullet-ridden, Sandy Hook Elementary School, whose  students will for now attend classes in an empty school in a neighbouring  town.

‘I think we have to go back into that  building at some point. That’s how you heal. It doesn’t have to be immediately  but I sure wouldn’t want to give up on it,’ said local resident Tim  Northrop.

A more detailed picture of Adam Lanza’s  attack emerged on Sunday. After killing his mother, Nancy Lanza, at home, Adam  Lanza shot his way into the school. He had attended Sandy Hook as a child,  according to former classmates.

Police said Lanza was armed with hundreds of  bullets in high-capacity magazines of about 30 rounds each for the Bushmaster AR  15 rifle and two handguns he carried into the school, and had a fourth weapon, a  shotgun, in his car outside. He killed himself in the school.

In Washington, a pro-gun lawmaker called on  Congress and the gun industry to come together on a ‘sensible, reasonable  approach’ to curbing high-powered, assault weapons like those used in  Newtown.

‘Never before have we seen our babies  slaughtered. This never happened in America, that I can recall, ever seeing this  kind of carnage,’ said Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who has  earned top marks from the gun industry. ‘This has changed where we go from  here.’

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Posted by on December 17, 2012. Filed under Jewish News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.