Fairfield, Conn. — It was a eulogy for a life that had only just begun.
Veronique Pozner remembered her son Noah as a rambunctious, video-game loving “little man,” a boy with a perpetual smile and twinkly blue eyes who dreamed of becoming a doctor, a soldier and manager of a factory that makes tacos – his favorite food.
Noah Samuel Pozner, age 6, was the youngest victim of the massacre last week at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. He was laid to rest Monday, his miniature wooden casket set beneath the podium where his mother stood.
“The sky is crying,” Veronique said.
So were hundreds more, mourners who lined the walls of a small Jewish chapel in this coastal Connecticut city for one of two funerals held Monday – the first of 26 that will be carried out over the coming days. Among them were Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sen.-elect Chris Murphy, and the state governor, Dannel Malloy, who personally had delivered the awful news to parents last week after the shooting. Malloy spent much of the service with his eyes cast down and hands clenched under his chin.
With abundant tears and a gathering resolve, the eulogizers offered tributes to a loving boy whose death, they said, should inspire the living to acts of love and compassion.
“Noah, you will not pass through this way again,” Veronique said. “I can only believe that you were planted on earth to bloom in heaven. Take flight, my boy. Soar. You now have the wings you always wanted. Go to that peaceful valley that we will all one day come to know.”
Days after one of the deadliest mass killings in American history, one that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults in a suburban school, a sense of shock is still palpable on the leafy streets of southwest Connecticut. In Newtown and surrounding communities, schools were on lockdown as children returned to class on Monday.
In nearby Ridgefield, Chana Deitsch, the local Chabad emissary, had the uncomfortable task of telling her children the news and comforting the mothers who come to her weekly Mommy and Me program on Monday.