FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 file photo, a woman with flowers walks past a Christmas tree which has become a memorial to the Newtown shooting victims in Newtown, Conn. In the wake of the shooting, the grieving town is trying to find meaning in Christmas. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — People drawn to Newtown to share in its mourning brought cards and handmade snowflakes to town Monday while residents prepared to observe Christmas less than two weeks after a gunman killed 20 children and six educators at an elementary school.
On Christmas Eve, residents said they would light luminaries outside their homes in memory of the victims. Tiny empty Christmas stockings with the victims’ names on them hung from trees in the neighborhood where the children were shot.
“We know that they’ll feel loved. They’ll feel that somebody actually cares,” said Treyvon Smalls, a 15-year-old from a few towns away who arrived at town hall with hundreds of cards and paper snowflakes collected from around the state.
Organizers said they wanted to let the families of victims know they are not alone while also giving Connecticut children a chance to express their feelings about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
At the Trinity Episcopal Church, less than 2 miles from the school, an overflow crowd of several hundred people attended Christmas Eve services. They were greeted by the sounds of a children’s choir echoing throughout a sanctuary hall that had its walls decorated with green wreaths adorned with red bows.
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