* Two boys to be laid to rest Monday afternoon
* Obama says 'we bear a responsibility'
* Schools prepare to react with security, silence
By Emily Flitter and Dan Burns
NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec 17 The small Connecticut
town shattered by an act President Barack Obama called
"unconscionable evil," holds on Monday the first two of 20
funerals for schoolchildren massacred in their classrooms last
Meanwhile, schools across the country will reopen their
doors to confused and scared children full of questions about
why the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting happened - and whether
they are safe from the very same danger.
Obama, addressing an interfaith vigil in Newtown on Sunday
night, spoke forcefully on the country's failings in protecting
its children and demanded changes in response to the mass
shootings of the last few months.
"We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end.
And to end them, we must change," he said, adding that he would
bring together law enforcement, teachers, mental health
professionals and others to study how to best stop the violence.
But before those changes, the families of the victims will
grieve. Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto will be laid to rest Monday
Noah, 6 years old just last month, was the youngest victim.
Reports describe him as "inquisitive" and as particularly mature
for his age. The family's rabbi has said he encouraged Noah's
mother to focus on her other four children amid the grief.
Jack, also 6, was a wrestler who loved sports. The New York
Giants receiver Victor Cruz played Sunday's football game with
the boy's name written all over his cleats and gloves.
All the dead children were 6 and 7 years old. The school
principal of Sandy Hook Elementary, the school psychologist and
four teachers were also gunned down.
The victims were remembered Sunday night at a memorial of
just over an hour whose featured speaker offered words of hope
and promises of action to stop any further tragedies.
"We bear responsibility for every child ... This is our
first task, caring for our children. It's our first job. If we
don't get that right, we don't get anything right," Obama said.
The president kept his emotions in tighter check than he did
Friday, when he cried openly while addressing the shooting. But
his tears were matched by the packed crowd in the local high
school auditorium, who wailed when he read the names of the
adults and children who were killed.
SCHOOLS READY TO OPEN
While the two boys are laid to rest and the other families
prepare their own memorials, schools across the country will
attempt to return to business as usual, though there will be
signs everywhere of how unusual the situation has become.
Some schools will put on extra security guards. Others will
begin their day with a moment of silence. On Twitter, young
people nationwide have urged their classmates to wear green and
white, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"I'm struggling with if I should bring it up at all. And if
I do, what am I going to say about it? I'm just praying about
it, because I don't know," said Molli Falgout, a first-grade
teacher in Kernersville, North Carolina.
But in Newtown, schools will not reopen Monday. The district
has said teachers need time to prepare for the students' return.
Instead, the town's youth sports groups have set up a field
day of sorts to keep kids occupied, with athletics, board games
and arts and crafts. Schools superintendent Janet Robinson
described it as an effort "to help provide some small level of
comfort and support to the children in our community."
The community will also have to make a decision about what
to do with the bullet-ridden Sandy Hook Elementary, whose
students will for now attend classes in an empty school the next
"I think we have to go back into that building at some
point. That's how you heal. It doesn't have to be immediately
but I sure wouldn't want to give up on it," said local resident
Meanwhile, a more detailed picture of 20-year-old Adam
Lanza's stunning attack emerged on Sunday.
After killing his mother, Nancy Lanza, at home, Adam Lanza
shot his way into the school. He had attended Sandy Hook as a
child, according to former classmates.
Police said Adam Lanza was armed with hundreds of bullets in
high-capacity magazines of about 30 rounds each for the
Bushmaster AR 15 rifle and two handguns he carried into the
school, and had a fourth weapon, a shotgun, in his car outside.
Investigators are examining forensic evidence and scouring
the crime scene in a process likely to extend for weeks.