As the president spoke a slight rain dampened the main road that runs through Newtown and a band of out-of-towners from the American South marched in double file. "We’re a group of college students from Huntsville, Alabama," said spokesperson Adrian Roe. To arrive on time for Sunday's vigil, the group had driven all night from Miami, where they were attending a conference.
At the front of the procession the group carried a banner reading “Remember the Children”. They were followed at various points along the road by somber teenagers tearful adults, and three women from Norway and Denmark: Ruth Mumfort, Helle Clausen and Sara Bordsen.
They had also arrived in Newtown Sunday to take part in the candlelight vigil. For them, the murders of 20 children brought back memories of the summer camp massacre in July 2011 by a lone gunman in Norway’s capital, Oslo. That tragedy took 77 lives: " [You have the] experience over again. All the [same] experience you had, and someone would do this in pure hate. That happened in Norway and here."
The massacre of six and seven olds and their teachers has also — once again — brought the issue of gun violence to the surface. For these women from Oslo it has special resonance.
As the solemn procession made its way along Newtown's main road, they passed several hand painted signs placed on various corners: One read “Together We Are Strong”. Another read: Heaven must have been short on 27 angels. He took them from us, all at once.”