Topics:  editors picks, mass shooting, sandy hook elementary school, school shooting

Funerals begin for young Newtown victims

NOAH Pozner and Jack Pinto should have been returning to Sandy Hook Elementary School on Monday.

Instead, a grieving Newtown - still in shock following Friday's massacre - bade farewell to the six-year-olds at their funerals, the first since Adam Lanza extinguished 26 lives, including 18 of Noah's and Jack's classmates, in a 10-minute hail of gunfire.

Mourners at Jack's funeral, held at 1pm, the same time as his classmate's in nearby Fairfield, began arriving at the Honan Funeral Home in Newtown's historic district in the morning.

Flags that usually flutter from poles at either end of the tranquil stretch of Main Street where Jack's service took place were at half-mast as those who knew the boy, and many who did not, gathered amid the picture-perfect colonial-era buildings.

Long before the service was due to begin, the pavement outside Sabah Qureshi's yolk-coloured house was lined with television cameras trained on the funeral home across the street.

Ms Qureshi has young children of her own.

Yesterday, as she stood outside her door, looking on at the people coming in and out of the funeral home before the service, a man came up to her to ask where he might find the Newtown cemetery.

Why? Because, he said, he had heard they needed help with digging graves.

"It's terrible," she said.

"I didn't know the gunman or his mother, but I know where they lived, I know the school. I keep thinking about how he would have shot her and then got in her car.

"And because I know the roads, I know what route he would have taken."

For many local people, it was another day when outsiders insisted on intruding, as the tragedy continued to draw interest from across the country - and the world.

As Ms Qureshi spoke, a man driving down Main Street lowered his windows and, turning in the direction of the cameras, shouted: "Go home."

Meanwhile, in Fairfield, Connecticut governor Dan Malloy was among the mourners arriving for Noah Pozner's funeral service. Noah was the youngest of the Sandy Hook victims, having turned six barely a month ago.

His sister, Arielle, was in another classroom, and survived Lanza's attack.

Although classes across the district were set to resume today, Sandy Hook Elementary will remain closed.

As some children return to class, others will continue to be remembered today, with a noon service scheduled for another six-year-old Sandy Hook victim, Jessica Rekos, at the St Rose of Lima Church in Newtown.

 



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