Christmas reverie in Newtown tinged with mourning
Newtown: Heavy with the sorrow of 26 lives lost in Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut, Newtown on Tuesday observed Christmas marked by snow-laden teddy bears, Christmas cards with tribute of poems and flowers as a token of love and sympathy for the victims.
People from other towns continued to visit memorials across Newtown to pay respects to those killed in the heart wrenching shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut on Dec 14.
The memorials presented an array of moving visuals with pictures of deceased kids hanging from snow-covered teddy bears, heaps of flowers, a line-up of candles, angel-pendants dangling from a snow-laced string, and rosaries and other religious offerings.
Police personnel from other town decided to offer their duties on Christmas to relieve Newtown police for a day.
The outpouring of support for this community continued through Christmas Eve, with visitors arriving at town hall with offerings of cards and sympathy.
People hung ornaments and pendants on Christmas memorial trees in the memory of 20 kids and 6 teachers.
Julian Revie of Ottawa, Canada, who was visiting Newtown during the shooting, spent his Christmas eve and Christmas day playing "Silent Night" on the piano at the memorial.
"It was such a mood of respectful silence," said Revie. "But yesterday being Christmas Eve and today being Christmas Day, I thought now it's time for some Christmas carols for the children."
A steady stream of residents relit candles that had been extinguished in an overnight snowstorm.
Others dropped off toys and fought back tears at a huge sidewalk memorial filled with stuffed animals, poems, flowers, posters and cards.
In the morning, resident Joanne Brunetti watched over 26 candles that had been lit at midnight in honour of those slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She and her husband, Bill, signed up for a three-hour shift and erected a tent to ensure that the flames never went out throughout the day.
"You have to do something and you don't know what to do, you know? You really feel very helpless in this situation," she said. "My thought is if we were all this nice to each other all the time maybe things like this wouldn't happen."
Many residents attended Christmas Eve services and spent Tuesday morning at home with their families. Others attended church services in search of a new beginning.
Police have yet to offer a theory about a possible motive for gunman Adam Lanza's rampage. The 20-year-old resident killed his mother in her bed before carrying out the massacre and killing himself.
With Agency Inputs