West Springfield hosts remembrance for Newtown victims - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

West Springfield hosts remembrance for Newtown victims

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

As the clock struck 9:30 a.m., silence filled Mittineague Congregational Church in West Springfield marking the moment when 26 people were murdered in Newtown Connecticut last week.

The silence was followed by the sounding of 26 chimes and the lighting of candles, each one marked with the name of one of the victims who lost their life at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"I just wanted to try and support them," said Diana Coyne. "I think there is hope in humanity that so many people have been touched by this and are supportive of all the families and I just pray for peace."

Dozens came to the service, many feeling personal ties to victims and their families.

"I am a grandparent, so I fully understand what they must be going through," said Bill Schlien. "I would not wish this on anybody. I'm just here to pay my respects the best way I know how."

Several stopped to sign a poster to write down their thoughts and prayers to send to the small Connecticut town.

"If we don't come together and pray and celebrate the lives of these people then the power of evil wins," said Karen Gutowski, a pastor at West Springfield's United Methodist Church. "We have to be the sign that it will not win, that the darkness is not going to overcome the light."

"Like others our prayers and thoughts are with them," said the organizer of the remembrance, Roberta Page. "Our prayers and thoughts will never go away. They are in our hearts and they will continue to be in our hearts."

If you'd like to send a letter of condolence to Newtown the address is below:

Messages for Condolence for Newtown

P.O. Box 3700

Newtown, CT 06470

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