Shattered Newtown tries to make sense of tragedy,
NEWTOWN, CONN. — One by one by one by one, each with fresh heartbreak, hearses crisscrossed two New England towns on Wednesday, bearing three tiny victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre and a heroic teacher in a seemingly never-ending series of funeral processions.
“The first few days, all you heard were helicopters,” said Dr. Joseph Young, an optometrist who is attending several funerals. “Now at my office all I hear is the rumble of motorcycle escorts and funeral processions going back and forth throughout the day.”
As more victims from the slaughter of 20 children and six adults were laid to rest, funeral processions clogged the streets of Newtown.
At least nine funerals and wakes were held Wednesday for those who died when gunman Adam Lanza, armed with a military-style assault rifle, broke into the school last Friday and opened fire on their classrooms. Lanza also killed his mother at her home before committing suicide.
At St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, mourners arrived for Caroline Previdi, an auburnhaired 6-year-old with an impish smile, before the service had even ended for Daniel Barden, a 7year-old who dreamed of being a firefighter.
“It’s sad to see the little coffins,” said the Rev. John Inserra, a Catholic priest who worked at St. Rose for years before transferring to a church in Greenwich. He returned to his old parish to comfort families wondering how a loving God could permit such carnage.
“It’s always hard to bury a child,” Inserra said. “But these are important moments, an opportunity to come together, to remember that we have new angels in heaven.”
Firefighters salute during the funeral procession for Daniel Barden, a 7-year-old who dreamed of one day becoming a firefighter. Two of his relatives work at the Fire Department of New York.