Newtown Begins Heartbreaking Funerals of Shooting Victims

World | December 17, 2012, Monday // 13:36|  views

Angel wood cutouts for each of the 27 victims are set up on hillside in Newtown on December 16. Photo by CNN

The grief-stricken community at Newtown is about to begin on Monday the grim task of lowering 20 little coffins into the ground.

Six-year-old Jack Pinto, whose love for sports ran the gamut but none so deep as football, will be laid to rest Monday.

Noah Pozner, another 6-year-old, will also be buried on Monday.

The heartbreaking ritual will continue for days - Jessica Rekos on Tuesday. Benjamin Wheeler on Thursday. Madeleine Hsu, Friday. All of them 6 years old.

Noah, one of the boys who will be laid to rest Monday, loved playing with his siblings -- especially his twin sister. They still don't know know how their brother passed away, Noah's aunt told CNN.

"How do you tell them that's how their brother died?" Haller asked. "It's the unthinkable really."

It's just as unbearable as the thought of a parent burying their child.

As more details about the 20 children and six educators emerge, so do stories of heroism and joyous memories of lives cut far too short.

When the gunfire rang out, 27-year-old Victoria Soto scrambled to move her students away from her first-grade classroom door and shielded them in the corner of the room.

It's not surprising that Soto would risk her life to save others, her mother said.

"She was truly selfless," Donna Soto said, as cited by CNN.

"She would not hesitate to think to save anyone else before herself and especially children. She loved them more than life."

Six-year-old Emilie Parker was a budding young artist who would have been the first to console the victims had she herself not been killed, her father said.

"She loved to use her talents to touch the lives of everyone that she came in contact with," Robbie Parker said. "She always carried around her markers and pencils so she never missed an opportunity to draw a picture or make a card for those around her."

Emilie's father also offered his condolences to all the families affected.

"This includes the family of the shooter," he said. "I can't imagine how hard this experience must be for you, and I want you to know that our family, and our love and support goes out to you as well."

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Tags: president, US, elementary school, Connecticut, USA, shootout, shooting, Barack Obama, Newtown, Sandy Hook, gun control, Michael Bloomberg, Nancy Lanza, Adam Lanza


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