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Country observes moment of silence for Sandy Hook victims

Balloons shape numbers 2 6 fly from makeshift memorial as man walks by Sandy Hook village Newtown Conn. site shooting

Balloons in the shape of numbers 2 and 6 fly from a makeshift memorial as a man walks by in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn., the site of a shooting massacre last week, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. For the most part, makeshift memorials honor the 26 victims allegedly killed by the gunman, Adam Lanza, who forced himself into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. In total 27 people were killed as officials say Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their home. Nancy Lanza is virtually nonexistent in the memorials. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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Updated: December 21, 2012 11:07AM



NEWTOWN, Conn. — The chiming of bells reverberated throughout Newtown on Friday, commemorating one week since the crackle of gunfire in a schoolhouse killed 20 children and six adults in a massacre that has shaken the community — and the nation — to its core.

Gov. Pat Quinn has proclaimed Friday as a “Day of Mourning” in Illinois for the victims of last week’s Connecticut school shooting.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy gathered with other officials on the steps of the town hall as the bell rang 26 times in memory of each life lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman also killed his mother before the massacre, and himself afterward.

Officials didn’t plan any formal remarks Friday morning, when similar commemorations were planned throughout the country.

Though the massacre does not rank as the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history — that record belongs to Virginia Tech — the tender age of the victims and the absence of any apparent motive has struck at Americans’ hearts and minds like no other. The gunman used a military-style assault rifle loaded with ammunition intended to inflict maximum damage, officials have said.

Just a week later, gun control has taken a front burner in Congress, where previous mass shootings produced only minimal legislative reaction. Vice President Joe Biden had said Thursday that the Obama administration would push to tighten gun laws.



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