A Jewish boy will be one of the first victims laid to rest after the shocking killing spree in Newtown, Conn.
Noah Pozner, who at 6 was the youngest of the 20 children slain, will be remembered at a serivice Monday afternoon. A funeral for Jack Pinto, another victim, will also be held.
Noah was described as “inquisitive” and as particularly mature for his age. The family’s rabbi has said he encouraged Noah’s mother to focus on her other four children amid the grief.
Rabbi Shaul Praver of Temple Adath Israel accompanied the heartbroken mother Veronique Pozner to identify her son’s body and make arrangements for the funeral. It was a wrenching experience, but the mother was eventually able to compose herself.
“We were able to leave the room, and talk about making arrangements for the casket, and shiva, and the memorial services,” he recounted to the New York Times.
Jack, also 6, was a wrestler who loved sports. The New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz played Sunday’s football game with the boy’s name written all over his cleats and gloves.
All the dead children were 6 and 7 years old. The school principal of Sandy Hook Elementary, the school psychologist and four teachers were also gunned down.
The torrent of grief will only continue with funerals for 18 more children and a handful of adult victims.
Meanwhile, schools across the country will reopen their doors to confused and scared children full of questions about why the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting happened - and whether they are safe from the very same danger.
President Obama, addressing an interfaith vigil in Newtown on Sunday night, spoke forcefully on the country’s failings in protecting its children and demanded changes in response to the mass shootings of the last few months.
“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change,” he said, adding that he would bring together law enforcement, teachers, mental health professionals and others to study how to best stop the violence.