Funerals for victims begin in Connecticut

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Dec 19 2012 11:39 AM | Updated as of Dec 20 2012 05:13 AM

NEWTOWN, Connecticut -- Two small caskets were buried in Connecticut on Monday.

Six-year olds Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner were laid to rest, as the entire country continues to grieve the loss of innocent lives in a shooting rampage in Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday.

Monday’s funerals are just the first wave. Twenty-four more will follow in the coming days.

As this sleepy town mourns the death of its children, makeshift memorials have sprung up.

Residents and out of state visitors take turns lighting candles and offering flowers, toys, Christmas tree trimmings as well as writing notes of love and support for the victims.

Filipino-American Graciel Paskewic said she and her family made the hour-long drive to give flowers and offer prayers for those who lost loved ones.

A couple prays next to a large wooden cross while visiting a memorial set up to honor the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Reuters

She didn’t know the victims or their families personally, but she said she shared their grief.

“These may not do as much, alam namin na hindi nila mate-take away the pain, pero we just want them to know na all these people, all these things are a symbol of humanity, na nandun pa rin ang humanity, (not everyone is like the killer, not everyone is cold blooded, not everyone is heartless,” said Paskewic.

Classes are still suspended in Sandy Hook Elementary School, pending the ongoing investigations.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy ordered the transfer of Sandy Hook’s 500 students to a nearby school in Monroe, Connecticut for the remainder of the school year.

In nearby Danbury, Filipino parents tried to cope with the incident that has changed the lives of his children forever.

Alan Durante said he watched the news with his kids and painstakingly explained to them what happened last Friday.

“Ipakita natin kung ano talaga ang nangyari, kasi I believe na mas maraming information na alam yung bata, mas maganda, kasi aware sila mas safe sila, kasi may presence of mind sila later kung may ganung pangyayari, “ said Durante.