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Sandy Hook firefighters observe moment of silence

Updated 2:48 pm, Friday, December 21, 2012

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  • Members of the Sandy Hook Fire and Rescue Company gather for a moment of remembrance in front of a memorial to victims Friday morning as bells toll at 9:30a.m. all around the state, Dec. 21, 2012. Photo: Carol Kaliff / The News-Times
    Members of the Sandy Hook Fire and Rescue Company gather for a moment of remembrance in front of a memorial to victims Friday morning as bells toll at 9:30a.m. all around the state, Dec. 21, 2012. Photo: Carol Kaliff

 

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NEWTOWN -- Several members of the Sandy Hook Volunteer fire company stood in the pouring rain Friday at a memorial near the firehouse and Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The firefighters wrapped their arms around each other and wept as they observed a moment of silence for the victims of the school massacre that took the lives of 20 children and six adults.

Some community members and people from other towns also came to the memorial -- more than two dozen Christmas Trees surrounded with stuffed animals, flowers and candles -- to pay their respects.

Others tried desperately to keep the Christmas trees standing as wind and rain whipped through the area.

As the moment came at 9:30 Friday -- the time a week ago when Adam Lanza opened fire in the school -- all that could be heard was sound of rain as those attending the makeshift memorial held each other for comfort and warmth.

George Lockwood Jr., an engineer with the fire department, said it's been particularly hard on the members, especially those who responded one week ago to the shooting that took so many lives.

"I think the memorial service helped, but it's been really hard," Lockwood said. "But we are all sticking together."

Capt. John Jeltema said the department is one big family.

"There isn't much to say," he said. "We just want to thank everyone, the EMS, police and fire departments, and frankly everyone in the nation who have been so supportive."

At about 10:25, less than an hour after the moment of silence, sirens sounded again as a fire engine left the department's headquarters in response to a routine fire alarm.

"At least it's some kind of normalcy," said one of the members of the department as the truck pulled away from the station.