NORWALK, Conn. – The massacre didn’t happen at one of their schools, or involve their children, but Norwalk parents and residents gathered Sunday afternoon to share in the grief over the murders of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Devastating is the only word Linda Piacenza could use to describe the Friday events. Her son, Luca, 11, and daughter, Mia, 8, were both taught in second-grade by a Newtown resident whose children attend Sandy Hook. They were not among the victims.
She brought her children to the vigil at Norwalk City Hall to help both them and herself deal with the events that took place.
“I heard about this right at 7th period when I was at school. My social studies teacher and my Spanish teacher they both said there was a shooting in Newtown,” Luca said. And that was when Linda came and picked him up.
“Unfortunately I didn’t feel safe having them there. Just being a parent whether you are closely related to this or not, just being an individual it’s got to affect anybody,” Piacenza said. “You can’t even put it into words what these families are going through.”
For many at the vigil it was a matter of finding some kind of solace or understanding. Local clergy from all faiths stood up to try and answer the question along.
Mayor Richard Moccia told The Daily Voice that there was a sense of disbelief that it happened here and “so close to us.”
“There are no easy answers for it. But I feel that people want to be a part of reaching out to families and victims,” Moccia said. “It’s somewhat of a catharsis, letting the emotion out with other people.”
And not just parents were affected, Douglas Peoples doesn’t have any children of his own, but he’s taught karate to children for the past 30 years in Norwalk, and he said a bond is formed.
“You have no way of knowing where or when this is going to happen. It could easily happen in Norwalk as it does in the sleepy town of Newtown, it could happen anywhere. So you feel for any kid who is put in a situation that they have no control over, they had nothing to do with, they had no effect on this individuals life, but now they are the victims and they are now a part of a history they never wanted to be a part of,” Peoples said.