Transcript for Newtown Buries First School Shooting Victims
Today the first of far too many funerals in a small community changed by tragedy. Three days ago 20 children and six adults were killed in a connecticut elementary school, a mass shooting that sent shock waves of degree across the country. Abc's juju chang reports from newtown, connecticut. Reporter: Sandy hook elementary school is closed tomorrow. And when the children return it will be to a different campus. The town is covered with memorials like this one that take on a feeling of a sacred sight as people make pilgrimages from all over. Under a cold steady rain, a wave of communal grief washes over newtown. Memorials growing in sets of 20 for the children. 20 christmas trees, 20 poinsettias, 20 angels. Today the first funerals in a found whose faith is being tested in ways it could never have imagined. For six-year-old jack pinto a huge new york giants fan. And noah pozner whose sister survived in another classroom. The rabbi struggled for the right words. Today a much tougher task, a eulogy for a six-year-old as a woman collapsed outside in grief, the rabbi inside tried to find words to comfort noah's grieving mother. I looked at her and said i personally believe in the eternity of the soul. And did noah's family respond the to that? Yes. That was helpful to her. In the end she released blue and white balloons into the sky until we couldn't see them any more. And that was a good symbol, to let it go. She said go, my son into the blue skies. Go my son into the green pastures. Chris is planning h daughter's funeral tomorrow. Jessica was devoted to her two younger siblings and left behind an unexpected gift, a diary. I just opened the book and it says I love you so much, mama, love jessica, with a little heart. It is like she was, you know, she's watching us and she knows how hard this must be for us. And she wants to know how much she loved us and knows how much she was loved. Reporter: Others are telling harrowing stories of survival. They were sitting there. They were sitting there. I had no idea why they were there. Reporter: A neighbor found six children at the end of his driveway and took them in. They were in vicky soto's first grade class. The boys were saying we can't go back to school. We can want go back to school. Our teacher's dead. Pl mrs. Soto. We don't have a teacher. Reporter: The counsellor crouched under her desk. You see the feet of the shooter? I could see him from the knees down. Right in front of you? 20 feet away facing his feet. His boots were facing my desk. And he turned and walked away. Seconds and turned and walked out. Reporter: Schools in five states including in ridgefield, connecticut on lockdown due to heightened suspicions as districts fast track new security plans. In lockdown mode until you hear an all clear announcement. Reporter: Sandy hook elementary school was closed today. No one knows when students will return. But some put it out of their minds just for a little while. Lacrosse players from new haven university volunteered to lift kids' spirits. Kind of makes them forget about it for three or four hours they were playing and having fun and being kids. Reporter: A chance for the kids to enjoy the kindness of strangers. Once we all started playing and the kids could see they lit up, you know. They wanted to play? They wanted to play. Yeah. It was nice to see a smile on theiface. There is hope that the soul lives on. Reporter: For the rabbi the tough task of explaining to the faithful where the evil comes from. I don't believe that god did this. I believe a crazy man did this. The meaning in it is not trying to understand why god does something. Somehow he got here. We have to not necessarily alms look toward god. But look toward humanity and say what is it that we've done that has created this environment. Reporter: The clergy of this small new england town say the hour rows of last week have helped to bond people together spiritually. The rabbi's words were the same he delivered at the funeral. You hug your children more. You become ever present to the fragility of life and you live life fuller. Reporter: For "nightline" I'm juju chang in newtown, connecticut.
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