Tears for Jack, Noah as first fu­ner­als held

6-year-olds mourned as town be­gins bury­ing vic­tims of mas­sacre.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Allen G. Breed and He­len O’Neill

‘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

Sand friend.”

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.



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.

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