Newtown Residents Settle In for Prayerful and Somber Christmas


As far as the holidays, Zuckerman said, "Everybody I know is spending time with friends, spending time with family and just staying connected and staying positive."

Well-wishers have come from all across the country and the world to visit this town and to visit the memorial that has grown beneath the tree.

A choir group from Alabama -- part of the National Association for the Prevention of Starvation -- stood beside the tree singing a mixture of Christmas carols and songs of comfort like, "Lean on Me."

Group members were at their annual fundraising event in Florida when they heard about the shooting.

"When we heard the news on Friday, our hearts sunk, of course, and we decided to come up on Saturday night," Adrian Roll, spokesman for the choir, said. "We drove all night. It took us about 20 plus hours to get here."

"When we got here, it was just an eerie type feeling," he said. "It hurt a whole lot to see that so many young children had lost their lives. But one thing that was comforting was to see how many people came together for the sake of the families and the people that were affected by it."

There is one Christmas gift the choir wishes to give: hope.

"The hope is to instill hope into everyone who's affected, not just here in Sandy Hook, but people across the country, across the world," Roll said. "I've seen people from Canada, France and other places coming here for this same reason."

For Koch, the nine-year Newtown resident, the prayers and well wishes from around the world are helping her get out of bed in the morning. And she has one particular request for others in the days and weeks ahead.

"Keep praying. God is good," she said. "There are times when we can't pray and we need others praying for us."

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