* Two young boys laid to rest in small caskets
* Teddy bear and hero's football jersey at the funerals
* Nation is back to school amid tightened security
By Bill Berkrot and Chris Kaufman
FAIRFIELD/NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec 17 One boy was
buried in his hero's football jersey in a small white coffin.
Balloons and a teddy bear welcomed mourners to the funeral of
his first grade schoolmate.
The two funerals on Monday ushered in what will be a week of
memorial services and burials for the 20 children and six adults
massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,
The shooting sent waves of anxiety across the country on the
first school day since a 20-year-old gunman opened fire on the
students and teachers in the close-knit community last week.
Within hours of the school starting bell on Monday,
lockdowns were declared in nearby Connecticut and New York towns
on fears of danger. And in southern California, Indiana and
Tennessee, authorities arrested men on Sunday for making threats
Newtown's schools remained closed after a weekend of
mourning that followed Adam Lanza's shooting spree on Friday
that claimed 28 lives, including his mother's and his own.
Miniature caskets marked the first wave of funerals as
Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto, both 6 years old, were laid to rest
on Monday afternoon. Noah was the youngest victim of rampage and
his twin sister, Arielle, escaped unhurt.
Under chilly, leaden skies, police and bomb-sniffing dogs
conducted a precautionary search of the street lined with white
balloons outside the Fairfield, Connecticut, funeral home where
Noah's brief life was remembered.
A teddy bear and bouquet of white flowers lay at the base of
an oak tree outside the Jewish service that was packed with
mourners, including Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, U.S.
Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator-elect Chris Murphy.
"Every time I told Noah, 'I love you,' he always answered,
'Not as much as I love you,'" his mother, Veronique Pozner,
told mourners at his funeral, recalled Rabbi Edgar Gluck after
the burial service.
In Noah's obituary in the Newtown Bee newspaper, his parents
and four siblings said, "Noah was an impish, larger-than-life
little boy. Everything he did conveyed action and energy through
love. He was the light of our family, a little soul devoid of
spite and meanness."
At Jack Pinto's funeral in Newtown, about a half dozen
children wearing a wrestling's club gold medals took off the
awards and gave them to their teammate's parents. A New York
Giants fan, Jack was wearing a red-and-white jersey with
receiver Victor Cruz's number 80 as he lay in an open white
casket at the service. During Sunday's game, Cruz wore shoes
with "R.I.P. Jack Pinto" written on the side.
"Jack was an incredibly loving and vivacious young boy,
appreciated by all who knew him for his lively and giving spirit
and steely determination," his parents, Dean and Tricia Pinto,
and brother said in his obituary in the Newtown Bee.
Active in sports from football to skiing, he was remembered
"for the immeasurable joy he brought to all who had the pleasure
of knowing him, a joy whose wide reach belied his six short
Their funerals came a day after President Barack Obama
visited Newtown to comfort the families, promising action to
stop future tragedies. Obama's remarks were heralded on Monday
morning by relatives of teacher Victoria Soto, 27, who was
killed as she tried to protect her first-grade students.
"He really made us feel like she really was a hero and that
everyone should know it," her younger brother, Carlos Soto, told
CBS "This Morning."
Later Monday, White House spokesman said Obama's plan for
action to curb violence includes gun control "but is far from
all of it."
All the dead children were 6 or 7 years old. The school
principal of Sandy Hook Elementary, the school psychologist and
four teachers were also gunned down.
With Newtown schools closed on Monday, about 200 volunteers
set up an indoor play day to keep children busy on a drizzly
Monday. Inside a local youth academy, whose doorway was marked
by holiday wreaths and 26 black ribbons, volunteers urged a boy
wearing Spider-Man sneakers, a girl carrying a stuffed Dalmatian
toy and about 1,000 other children to join in athletics, board
games and arts and crafts.
A more detailed picture of Lanza's stunning attack has
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, but authorities said on
Monday he had no current connection with the school.
Police said 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.
He killed himself in the school.
In Washington, a growing number of U.S. lawmakers -
including a leading pro-gun senator - called for a look at
curbing assault weapons like the one used in the massacre, a
sign that attitudes toward gun control could be shifting.
"Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered. This
never happened in America, that I can recall, ever seeing this
kind of carnage," said Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia
Democrat who has earned top marks from the gun industry. "This
has changed where we go from here."