Shat­tered New­town tries to make sense of tragedy,

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By David Klep­per and Katie Zezima

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.”

David Gold­man / as­so­ci­ated PRESS

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.

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