Funerals Begin for Victims of Connecticut School Shooting
(NEWTOWN, Conn.) — The first two funerals for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre are scheduled for Monday afternoon, when Newtown, Conn., will bury 6-year-olds Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto.
Pozner’s family will greet the public before the funeral service begins at 1 p.m. at the Abraham L. Green & Son Funeral Home in Fairfield, Conn. The burial will follow at B’nai Israel Cemetery in Monroe.
Pinto’s service will take place at 1 p.m. at Honan Funeral Home in Newtown. The burial will follow the service at Newtown Village Cemetery.
Pozner and Pinto were two of the 20 children who were killed Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School when Adam Lanza allegedly sprayed two first-grade classrooms with bullets that also killed six adults.
Pozner’s twin sister, Arielle, was one of the students who survived when her teacher hid her class in the bathroom during the attack.
As millions of Americans try to make sense of the shootings, memorials and personal tributes have been emerging to remember the children and their educators.
After hearing that Pinto was a huge New York Giants fan, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz wrote “R.I.P. Jack Pinto,” “Jack Pinto, my hero” and “This one is 4 U!” on his cleats and gloves before playing the Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon. Cruz tweeted photos of his tribute shortly before the game, along with his condolences.
Cruz told reporters he spoke to the family on Saturday after hearing Pinto was a Giants fan. Cruz was told the family planned to bury Pinto in Cruz’s No. 80 Giants jersey.
“There are no words that can describe the type of feeling you get when a kid idolizes you so much that, you know, unfortunately they put him in a casket with your jersey on,” Cruz said on Sunday.
“I also spoke to an older brother and he was distraught as well. I told him to stay strong and I was going to do whatever I can to honor him,” Cruz said. “He was fighting tears and could barely speak to me.”
Cruz said he plans to give the gloves he wore during the game to the boy’s family, and spend some time with them.
Like many parents holding their children a little tighter in wake of the school shooting, Cruz told reporters his 11-month-old daughter, Kennedy, slept in his bed Friday night.
“We slept together that night,” he said, “and it was a good feeling. It was one that I cherished.”
The Giants were shut out by the Falcons, 34-0, and Cruz was held to three catches for 15 yards with no touchdowns. Cruz had hoped to score at least one touchdown for arguably his biggest fan.
“I probably would have pointed up to the sky, tapped my shoes or something special just to let him know I was thinking of him,” Cruz told Newsday.
More funerals are planned for later this week. Jessica Rekos, 6, will be buried on Tuesday at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio