One Week After Newtown Shootings, The Sound Of A Nation In Mourning

A week later, states across the U.S. remembered the victims of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., on Friday morning. Many church and government buildings also tolled bells in their honor. Melissa Block and Robert Siegel have more.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHURCH BELLS)

SIEGEL: The sound of a nation in mourning - that's from the National Cathedral, in Washington, today. It's been one week since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; and this morning at 9:30, bells rang out across the U.S., in honor of those who died.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS, RAIN)

BLOCK: Bells from a rainy Hampstead, New Hampshire...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS, RAIN)

BLOCK: ...Lansing, Michigan...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS, RAIN)

BLOCK: ...and that's St. John's Episcopal Church, a short drive from Sandy Hook Elementary where last Friday, a gunman killed six adults and 20 children. The shooter, Adam Lanza, also killed his mother and himself.

SIEGEL: Earlier this week, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy wrote an open letter to every state governor, requesting a moment of silence today. It reads, "In the last few days, the outpouring of love and compassion from your state, and from around the world, has been overwhelming; and the people of Connecticut will be forever grateful. Too often, we focus on what divides us as people, instead of what binds us together as human beings."

BLOCK: Today, states from Vermont to Alaska participated in remembrances, with flags at half staff. Some websites briefly went dark at 9:30, and the New York Stock Exchange paused for one minute before the opening bell.

SIEGEL: President Obama observed the moment of silence privately, at the White House. And at the state Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, a guard rang the bell 26 times while the names of the Sandy Hook victims were read aloud. Afterward, soloist Callan DeBerry sang "Amazing Grace."

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

CALLAN DEBERRY: (Singing) I once was lost, but now I'm found; was blind, but now I see...

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