As church bells pealed in Sandy Hook Village Sunday, people from across the region came to the site of the school shooting to offer teddy bears and roses as they tried to sort out a national tragedy.
SANDY HOOK VILLAGE, Conn.
As church bells pealed and Sandy Hook residents on Sunday retreated to private church services to seek solace in the wake of the nation's worst-ever primary school shooting, hundreds of self-proclaimed "pilgrims" trudged stunned and red-eyed toward the massacre site to offer teddy bears and roses to the 20 first graders and six school staff who died Friday.
They included a former Marine who counseled kids in Iraq, a state school association officer, local teachers, and families from as far away as San Antonio, Texas. They were met by large lit letters at the village crossroads that read, "Faith. Hope. Love."
Their urge to congregate in support of the families of the children echoed a wave of global support and prayers that have poured into the town since a local 20-year-old named Adam Lanza forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning and killed 20 children at close range, and also shot six staffers trying to shield the children. As police closed in, Mr. Lanza, police say, shot himself with the assault-style rifle used in the attack.