Bells toll for victims one week after shooting

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm •  Published: December 21, 2012
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"This is just something we had to do," said Ashley Lejeunesse, 23, who was also in the Red Lake classroom.

The chiming of bells reverberated throughout the nation, and there were observances around the world.

In Washington, religious leaders from a broad range of faiths gathered at Washington National Cathedral to call for their congregations to lobby Congress to enact gun control and mental health reforms to address pervasive gun violence. In a garden beside the National Cathedral, they paused to listen as a funeral bell tolled.

In New York City, bells at the historic Trinity Church near the World Trade Center tolled 28 times. In Massachusetts, bells in churches around the state, including Boston's historic Old North Church, rang in honor of those killed in the attack. A moment of silence was observed throughout Colorado, and bells rang out in Denver, while in Wyoming, St. Mary's Cathedral in Cheyenne and other places of worship rang bells 26 times. In Ohio, places of worship from Cincinnati to Cleveland and beyond tolled their bells 26 times, and schools across the state marked the moment with silence.

In Alabama, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, governors invited citizens to take part in a moment of silence.

In the west African nation of Liberia, 20 children from a school sponsored by the Newtown Rotary Club gathered at the U.S. Embassy to give their condolences. Each child from the Caroline Miller School in Monrovia placed a flower on a poster bearing the name of a victim of the shooting.

When the bells tolled to honor the victims of last week's shooting rampage, they did so 26 times, for each child and staff member killed.

There is rarely a mention by residents of the first person police said Adam Lanza killed that morning: his mother, Nancy, who was shot in the head four times while she lay in bed.

A private funeral was held Thursday in New Hampshire for Nancy Lanza, according to the police chief in Kingston, N.H., where her funeral was held. About 25 family members attended.

The Newtown area weathered more funerals Friday, with five planned.

A standing room-only crowd filled the St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in Trumbull for the funeral of Mary Sherlach. The school psychologist who rushed toward the gunman during the shooting was remembered as a caring professional, a fan of the Miami Dolphins and a woman who ultimately put the lives of others ahead of her own.

Investigators have said that Nancy Lanza, a gun enthusiast, visited shooting ranges several times and that her son also visited an area range.

Authorities say Adam Lanza shot his mother at their home and then took her car and some of her guns to the school, where he broke in and opened fire. A Connecticut official said Nancy Lanza was shot four times in the head with a .22-caliber rifle.

Adam Lanza was wearing all black, with an olive-drab utility vest, during the school attack. Investigators have found no letters or diaries that could explain the rampage.

Friends and acquaintances have described him as intelligent, but odd and quiet.

Friends said he would stare down at the floor and not speak when she brought him into a local pizzeria. They knew that he'd switched schools more than once and that she'd tried home schooling him. But while she occasionally expressed concern about his future during evenings at the bar, she never complained.

___

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Michael Melia, John Christoffersen, Eileen Connelly, Susan Haigh and David Klepper in Newtown.



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