An image of 6-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victim Benjamin Andrew Wheeler is displayed at the entrance to Trinity Episcopal Church as mourners file in for his wake Dec. 19, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.
(CBS NEWS) -- A season that should be a time of joy has been marked by
heart-wrenching loss in Newtown, as more victims from the massacre of 20
children and six adults are laid to rest.
At least nine
funerals and wakes were held Wednesday for those who died when gunman
Adam Lanza, armed with a military-style assault rifle, broke into Sandy
Hook Elementary School Friday and opened fire. Lanza killed his mother
at her home before the attack and committed suicide at the school as
police closed in.
On Thursday, five funerals and six wakes were planned, and more tributes were scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
first few days, all you heard were helicopters," said Dr. Joseph Young,
an optometrist who attended one funeral and would go to several more.
"Now at my office all I hear is the rumble of motorcycle escorts and
funeral processions going back and forth throughout the day."
Folan, a retired corrections officer who volunteers as an emergency
medical technician in Newtown and responded to Friday's attack, told CBS
News correspondent Seth Doane he cut himself off from the world when it
was all over.
"I isolated myself," said Folan. "I
basically went home, didn't answer the phone calls from the many friends
and family and members here ... I just don't want to hear about it,
don't want to see it. It was all over the news, and I didn't want any
more part of it. I could not- I could not hear it anymore."
St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Wednesday, mourners arrived for
Caroline Previdi, an auburn-haired 6-year-old with an impish smile,
before the service had even ended for Daniel Barden, a 7-year-old who
dreamed of being a firefighter.
"It's sad to see the
little coffins," said the Rev. John Inserra, a Catholic priest who
worked at St. Rose for years before transferring to a church in
"It's always hard to bury a child," Inserra
said of the seemingly unrelenting cycle of sorrow and loss. "God didn't
do this. God didn't allow this. We allowed it. He said, 'Send the little
children to me.' But he didn't mean it this way."
of firefighters formed a long blue line outside the church for Daniel's
funeral. Two of his relatives work at the Fire Department of New York,
and the gap-toothed redhead had wanted to join their ranks one day.
Caroline's funeral, mourners wore pink ties and scarves - her favorite
color - and remembered her as a New York Yankees fan who liked to kid
around. "Silly Caroline" was how she was known to neighbor Karen Dryer.
"She's just a girl that was always smiling, always wanting others to smile," Dryer said.
town, at Christ the King Lutheran Church, hundreds gathered for the
funeral of Charlotte Helen Bacon, many wearing buttons picturing the
6-year-old redhead. Speakers, including her grandfather, told of her
love of wild animals, the family's golden retriever and the color pink.
was "a beautiful little girl who could be a bit stubborn at times, just
like all children," said Danbury resident Linda Clark as she left the
And in nearby Stratford, family and friends gathered to say goodbye
to Victoria Soto, a first-grade teacher hailed as a hero for trying to
shield her students, some of whom escaped. Musician Paul Simon, a family
friend, performed "The Sound of Silence" at the service.
"She had the perfect job. She loved her job," said Vicky Ruiz, a friend since first grade.
Woodbury, a line of colleagues, students and friends of slain Sandy
Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47, wrapped around the block to pay
their respects to the administrator, who rushed the gunman in an effort
to stop him and paid with her life. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne
Duncan attended the service.
"She loved kids. She'd do anything to help them and protect them," said Joann Opulski, of Roxbury.
symbol of Christmas took on a new meaning in Newtown, where one
memorial featured 26 Christmas trees - one for each victim at the
Edward Kish said he bought a Christmas tree two days before the shooting but hasn't had the heart to put it up or decorate it.
"I'll still put it up, probably," he said. "It doesn't seem right, and it doesn't seem like Christmas."