Tears for Jack, Noah as first funerals held
6-year-olds mourned as town begins burying victims of massacre.
‘If Noah had not been taken from us, he would have become a great man.’
Rabbi presiding over funeral services for Noah Pozner, 6
NEWTOWN, CONN. — Opening a long and almost unbearable procession of grief, Newtown began burying its dead Monday, laying to rest two 6year-old boys — one who was crazy about the New York Giants and one whose twin sister survived the rampage.
Two funeral homes filled with mourners for Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto, the first of the 20 children killed in last week’s school massacre to receive funerals. The gunman also killed six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, and his mother in her home, before committing suicide.
A rabbi presided at Noah’s service, and in keeping with Jewish tradition, the boy was buried in a simple, brown wooden casket with a Star of David on it.
“If Noah had not been taken from us, he would have become a great man. He would been a wonderful husband
and a loving father,” Noah’s uncle, Alexis Haller, told mourners, according to remarks he provided to the media. Both services were closed to the media.
Noah’s twin, Arielle, who was assigned to a different classroom, survived the killing frenzy by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, an attack so horrifying that authorities could not say three days later whether the school would ever reopen.
Classes were canceled Monday, and Newtown’s other schools were to reopen Tuesday. The district made plans to send surviving Sandy Hook students to a former middle school in the neighboring town of Monroe.
“I feel like we have to get back to normal, but I don’t know if there is normal anymore,” said Kim Camputo, mother of two children, 5 and 10, who attend a different school.
“I’ll definitely be dropping them off and picking them up myself for a while.”
At Jack’s Christian service, hymns rang out from inside the funeral home, where the boy lay in an open casket. Jack was among the youngest members of a youth wrestling association in Newtown, and dozens of little boys came to the service in gray Newtown Wrestling T-shirts.
Ten-year-old Luke Wellman remembered a boy who loved football and wrestling and idolized Victor Cruz, the star wide receiver for the Giants. Cruz played in Sunday’s game with “Jack Pinto ‘My Hero’” written on one of his cleats.
Luke said: “I’m here to support my teammate Get complete coverage of the Connecticut school shooting, including photos and video, at
A mourner, Gwendolyn Glover, said the service carried a message of comfort and protection, particularly for other children. “The message was: You’re secure now. The worst is over,” she said.
At both funeral homes, as around the country, people wrestled with what steps could and should be taken to prevent something like the massacre from happening again.
“If people want to go hunting, a single-shot rifle does the job, and that does the job to protect your home, too. If you need more than that, I don’t know what to say,” Ray DiStephan said outside Noah’s funeral.
He added: “I don’t want to see my kids go to schools that become maximum-security fortresses. That’s not the world I want to live in, and that’s not the world I want to raise them in.”
Around the country, school systems asked police departments to increase patrols Monday and sent messages to parents outlining safety pro- cedures. Teachers steeled themselves for their students’ questions and fears.
Richard Cantlupe, an American history teacher at Westglades Middle School in Parkland, Fla., described the Connecticut rampage as “our 9/11 for schoolteachers.”
Anxiety ran high enough in Ridgefield, Conn., about 20 miles from Newtown, that officials ordered a lockdown at schools after a person deemed suspicious was seen at a train station. Two schools were locked down in South Burlington, Vt., because of an unspecified threat.
Three schools in the Tampa, Fla., area did the same after a bullet was found on the floor of a school bus, and a New Hampshire high school went into emergency mode after an administrator heard a loud bang. A police search found nothing suspicious.
Meanwhile, the outlines of a national debate on gun control began to take shape. At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney said curbing gun violence is a complex problem that will require a “comprehensive solution.”
Carney did not offer specific proposals. He said President Barack Obama will meet with law enforcement officials and mental health professionals in coming weeks.
Investigators have found no letters or diaries that could explain Lanza’s rampage.
Debora Seifert, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Lanza and his mother fired at shooting ranges and visited ranges together. “We do not have any indication at this time that the shooter engaged in shooting activities in the past six months,” Seifert said.
SERVICES FOR A GIANTS FAN:
A woman comforts two boys at the funeral Monday for Jack Pinto, 6, who was among 20 children slain Friday in the Newtown, Conn., school attack.