Mourning in Newtown

Today is Monday, the first school day since the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed so many young lives last week. Like millions of other American parents, I sent my kids off to school today knowing that the difficult family discussions we had over the weekend will continue in the classroom, as educators and students address yet another tragic outburst of violence in our schools. Today, the first of many funerals will take place in Newtown, after a weekend of vigils and mourning. President Obama visited Newtown on Sunday, speaking before an auditorium of grieving parents. "We can't accept events like this as routine," he said, "These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change."
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1. A boy holds on to a man's coat while they hug at a makeshift memorial near Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a mass shooting took place, in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 16, 2012. Worshipers filled Sunday services to mourn the victims of a gunman's rampage at the school that killed 20 children and six adults.




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2. A U.S. flag flies at half-staff honoring the victims that were killed a day earlier, on December 15, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.




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3. David Freedman, right, kneels with his son Zachary, 9, both of Newtown, Connecticut, as they visit a sidewalk memorial for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, on December 16, 2012, in Newtown.




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4. Newtown Police Officer Maryhelen McCarthy carries flowers near a memorial for shooting victims, on December 16, 2012. The flowers and other memorial items were taken to nearby Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church.




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5. A memorial for the victims, near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, on December 16, 2012.




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6. A couple and their daughter grieve after paying tribute to shooting victims in Newtown, on December 15, 2012.




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7. Two men pray at Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church near Sandy Hook Elementary School, on December 14, 2012.




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8. Robbie Parker, the father of six-year-old Emilie, one of twenty children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, speaks during a press conference, on December 15, 2012, in Newtown.




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9. A National Park Service employee lowers flags to half-staff at the base of the Washington Monument, after President Barack Obama ordered the action while speaking on the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, on December 14, 2012.




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10. People embrace at a memorial for the victims of the shooting near Sandy Hook Elementary School, on December 16, 2012.




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11. A man plays a violin along Church Hill Road in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 16, 2012. The sign reads: "Our tears are on your shoulders, and our hands are in yours."




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12. People arrive on a school bus at Newtown High School for a memorial vigil attended by President Barack Obama in Connecticut, on December 16, 2012.




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13. People walk towards a memorial for victims near the school on the first Sunday following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, on December 16, 2012.




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14. Connecticut State Troopers bow their heads during an interfaith vigil for the shooting victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School, on December 16, 2012 at Newtown High School.




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15. Residents pray during a vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at Newtown High School, on December 16, 2012.




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16. Mourners comfort one another before President Barack Obama speaks at a vigil for the shooting victims at Newtown High School, on December 16, 2012.




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17. President Barack Obama, after speaking at a vigil held at Newtown High School, on December 16, 2012. Obama consoled the Connecticut town shattered by the massacre of 20 young schoolchildren, lauding residents' courage in the face of tragedy and saying the United States was not doing enough to protect its children.




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18. A woman holds a class photo on her lap, as President Barack Obama speaks at an interfaith vigil for the shooting victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 16, 2012.




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19. People hold hands in a bar near Sandy Hook Elementary School as President Barack Obama speaks in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 16, 2012.




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20. Children hold stuffed animals during a vigil held at Newtown High School, on December 16, 2012.




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21. President Barack Obama prays during a vigil held at Newtown High School, on December 16, 2012.




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22. A U.S. flag flies at half-staff outside the Newtown High School, on Sunday, December 16, 2012.




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23. Mourners listen to a memorial service over a loudspeaker outside Newtown High School, on December 16, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.




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24. A mourner sits against the wall while listening to a memorial service outside Newtown High School, on December 16, 2012.




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25. From left, Newtown residents Claire Swanson, Kate Suba, Jaden Albrecht, Simran Chand and New London, Connecticut residents Rachel Pullen and her son Landon DeCecco, hold candles at a memorial for victims on the first Sunday following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, on December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.




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26. Surjit Kaur Gill, of Worcester, Massachusetts, joins a group of Sikhs from around the Northeastern US, in a moment of prayer as a memorial service is broadcast outside Newtown High School, on December 16, 2012.




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27. A woman cries near a makeshift memorial close to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, on December 16, 2012.




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28. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a member of the Brazilian association Rio de Paz (Rio of Peace), adjusts the US flag during a tribute paid to the victims of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, on Copacabana beach, on December 15, 2012.




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29. In Moscow, Russia, a woman places a toy near the US Embassy, on December 16, 2012. The massacre of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world.




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30. Indians carry placards and photographs of Connecticut shooting victims as they participate in a candlelight vigil outside a Catholic church in Bangalore, India, on December 16, 2012.




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31. Hundreds gather on the New Haven Green during a candlelight vigil to support the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in New Haven, Connecticut, on December 15, 2012.




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32. A man embraces a young boy as they look at a memorial in front of the St. Rose of Lima Catholic church in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 16, 2012.