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Mohawk Valley

Vigil held Sunday night to remember Newtown victims

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Vigil to be held Sunday night to remember Newtown victims
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People gathered in Newtown for a vigil to remember the victims of this week's shooting. President Obama attended, and people said it was an important step in the healing process. Our John Wagner spoke with some of them following the memorial. He has their story.

NEWTOWN, CT -- Resident in Newtown tell us they greatly appreciate the president’s attention and the nationwide support, but they say Sunday night’s vigil was just another small step in a long grieving process.

To a town overwhelmed by pain, President Obama lends what support the country could offer. Newtown resident said it helps, if only a little, to know there is still hope and a nation full of support.

“No matter what faith no matter what our prior beliefs were we all just came together and just loved each other,” said Madeline Harvey, a Newtown resident.

The president read the names of each victim, quoted scriptures, told stories of heroism, and said he looks to the eternal for hope. But then he dove into the debate over gun control laws, saying this is the fourth time he's had to come to a town like Newtown to give a similar speech. He said these tragedies must end and to do that we must change.

Locals said he walked a fine line, by touching on gun control expansion but keeping the focus on the victims.
“He was careful not to make it too politicized of a message because he knows how raw the pain is for everybody in the town,” said Fred Arthur, a Sandy Hook resident.

Thousands of Newtown residents braved long lines, and cold, depressingly wet weather to get inside. Many children clutched stuffed animals and blankets handed out by the Red Cross. But many
emerged from the high school, with a different spirit.

“It just felt good to know that amidst all the evil in the world there is so much good that's overwhelming,” said Harvey.

“Everywhere in town people were in circles comforting each other crying, just were healing. And it’s going to take a long time,” said Ian Fisher, a Newtown resident.

Despite Sunday’s healing, Newtown must now suffer through a week filled with dozens of funerals. Students at most local schools will return to classes on Tuesday, forced into a strange sense of normalcy, but there's no word yet on when Sandy Hook Elementary will join them.

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