People visiting Simsbury town hall to honor those killed in Newtown last week were spilling out into the halls once the main meeting room was full Friday morning. Church bells outside were ringing for 26 lives lost at the hand of a gunman.
Tears rolled down the cheeks of town officials and residents alike as they crowded into town hall for a moment of silence, a moment that was shared by towns across the state and the nation.
Pastors, rabbis, and priests from Simsbury's religious community attended the brief memorial to offer guidance and wisdom.
"It's good to be here, together," Reverend Jonathan Morgan said. "And it's awful."
According to his fellow pastors, Pastor Mel Kawakami was in Newtown this week offering counseling and to perform two funerals for victims of the shooting.
"Of all the clergy I know, Methodist or otherwise, I can't think of a more capable person of being in that situation," one pastor said.
As the nation struggles to move forward at a time of year when families are gathering to spend the holidays together, many will be thinking of the Newtown families who will be mourning their lost loved ones.
"There are no words to express what we're all feeling here today," Rabbi Mendel Samuels said.
Samuels, a father, said the one thing parents can take control of is how they love their children.
"You hug them a little longer and you spend an extra moment with them."