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Visitors Continue To Seek Comfort At Memorial In Front Of Sandy Hook Elementary School

NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) - In front of Sandy Hook Elementary School, a memorial to the victims of the school massacre continues to grow.

The street leading to the school remains closed, but a steady stream of visitors continues to pour in to their pay respects.

WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reports


The memorial features 26 Christmas tree donated by the local firehouse, one for each victim, circling the perimeter of a memorial stuffed with teddy bears wet from the rain.

Flowers, candles and notes also fill the memorial.

Memorial Outside Sandy Hook Elementary School
Memorial Outside Sandy Hook Elementary School Dec. 18, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

The Sandy Hook school's white wooden sign is at the center of the memorial, welcoming visitors like Virginia Giordano.

"I have been watching every day the news and I haven't stopped crying. I don't want to, I want to be strong," Virginia Giordano of Waterbury told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond.

MORE: How To Help The People Of Newtown

Visitors said they came to find comfort at the memorial.

"I'm thinking of all the little souls that left us. I'm thinking of their feet pattering. I'm thinking of them up there looking down saying, 'look at that we brought the party to Newtown,'" said Silvia Vignelly of New Haven.

A police officer overseeing the crowds said he is touched by the visitors in Newtown.

"I even had a child wish me happy holidays and it's like - you almost forget that holidays are here," police officer Chip Carpenter told Diamond.

Small memorials have popped up along the roadway just off of Exit 10 of I-84, CBS 2's Tony Aiello reported.

But the large spontaneous memorial in town continues to get bigger by the hour with people from all across the region offering condolences.

"It's hard knowing that the school you went to for five years, something like that could happen. But the fact that people from all over are coming to give their support and their love is just really nice," Newtown resident Jessica Maturo told CBS 2's Aiello.

There are large banners professionally printed and suitable for framing and notes from children that could hang with pride on any refrigerator door, Aiello reported.

Everyone who visits does so for a reason that comes from the heart.

"I pray for these people every day, I pray at church and I pray at home, and I hope that God will comfort them. He said 'blessed are those who mourn,'" Medford, Long Island resident Adolph Gordon told Aiello.

Gordon's nephew Perry Kinard played Amazing Grace on his violin at the memorial.

"Remember them, don't forget about them. They were put on this earth for a reason but we lost them too early," Kinard told Aiello.

A group of Buddhist monks from Monroe, N.Y. chanted and prayed.

The poignancy of the memorial is best represented by angels everywhere you look, Aiello reported.

"The angels, the little children are angels, yep, and the adults too, they're our heroes, they're angels too. They're all up there," Sharon, Conn. resident Michelle Dee told CBS 2's Aiello. "Now they're looking over us, yeah they really are."

An outpouring of support has come in from around the country and around the world.

"You never know what's going to happen the day before or the next day. And sometimes when you have a fight, like sometimes I have a fight with my sister and then after I feel bad for having them. And then sometimes I feel like I want to be closer to her because you never know that something bad might happen to one of us" 10-year-old Charlotte Rosiak of California told CBS 2's Weijia Jiang.

The U.S. Postal Service has established a unique PO Box for those wanting to send condolence letters to the residents of Newtown.

"It's an amazing thing how people will come together in the wake of a tragedy and just to show these families that they are loved, respected, people are thinking of them I think is an amazing thing," another mourner told Jiang.

On Monday, Gov. Dannel Malloy called for a moment of silence and for churches to ring bells at 9:30 Friday morning, exactly one week after the rampage.

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