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The victims were remembered Sunday night at a memorial of just over an hour whose featured speaker offered words of hope and promises of action to stop any further 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,” Obama said.
The president kept his emotions in tighter check than he did Friday, when he cried openly while addressing the shooting. But his tears were matched by the packed crowd in the local high school auditorium, who wailed when he read the names of the adults and children who were killed.
SCHOOLS READY TO OPEN
While the two boys are laid to rest and the other families prepare their own memorials, schools across the country will attempt to return to business as usual, though there will be signs everywhere of how unusual the situation has become.
Some schools will put on extra security guards. Others will begin their day with a moment of silence. On Twitter, young people nationwide have urged their classmates to wear green and white, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“I’m struggling with if I should bring it up at all. And if I do, what am I going to say about it? I’m just praying about it, because I don’t know,” said Molli Falgout, a first-grade teacher in Kernersville, North Carolina.
But in Newtown, schools will not reopen Monday. The district has said teachers need time to prepare for the students’ return.
Instead, the town’s youth sports groups have set up a field day of sorts to keep kids occupied, with athletics, board games and arts and crafts. Schools superintendent Janet Robinson described it as an effort “to help provide some small level of comfort and support to the children in our community.”
The community will also have to make a decision about what to do with the bullet-ridden Sandy Hook Elementary, whose students will for now attend classes in an empty school the next town over.
“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.
Meanwhile, a more detailed picture of 20-year-old Adam Lanza’s stunning 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 Adam 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.
Investigators are examining forensic evidence and scouring the crime scene in a process likely to extend for weeks.