Bells toll to remember the victims of school shooting
The bells of Newtown tolled to mark one week after the second-deadliest school shooting in US history, ringing 26 times to remember each child and staff member killed. Nationwide, other churches and communities did the same, and President Barack Obama at the White House observed a moment of silence.
The observances ignored the first victim of 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza: his mother, Nancy, who was shot in the head four times.
Her death makes 27 killed.
A private funeral was held on Thursday for Nancy Lanza, said Donald Briggs, the police chief in the town where her funeral was held. About 25 family members attended.
In Newtown, where makeshift memorials of stuffed animals, angels, candles, flowers and balloons are found throughout town, there is only one noticeable tribute to Nancy Lanza. It's a letter written by a friend and shellacked on to a piece of wood.
"Others now share pain for choices you faced alone; May the blameless among us throw the first stone," it reads in part.
Authorities have said Adam Lanza used the guns his mother kept at their home to carry out the rampage. In a small town where multiple funerals have taken place each day, many are angry at Nancy Lanza for not keeping her guns away from her son.
Others think she was an innocent victim, one who should be included at memorials.
"It's a loss of life and, yes, her life mattered," said resident Christine Lombardi. "Yes, I do believe she should be included."