As the investigation goes on into the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the families and relatives of the victims are trying to come to terms with their loss. Even those not directly affected are in deep shock to think that something like this has visited their community.
All the child victims were aged six or seven, all the adults were women.
“You can’t imagine what would go through someone’s head, to think that they could actually do something like this”, said one resident.
Clearly there is never a right time for something like this to happen, but the run-up to Christmas simply adds a little more poignancy.
“We’re a quiet little town where nothing ever happens”, said one woman wrapping presents. “Now suddenly we’re in the record books. Not because someone won the lottery last week, but for something awful.”
Church attendance in the USA is high in comparison to many other Western countries, and it is at times like this that many seek solace in their faith. The Reverend Mark Moore of St. John’s Episcopal Church has been helping mourners in Newtown.
“There are forces of evil”, he said, “and this is one of those times when evil expressed itself in a very powerful way.”
Outside the church one man said: “It will always be in our minds. Just as 9/11 is always in our minds. I mean, I haven’t felt this way since 9/11. But the town’s resilient, we’re going to come back”