Moment of silence and church bells ring in Boston and across nation today in memory of Newtown massacre victims

Joe Muxie holds a small bouquet of flowers at the Garden of Peace in downtown Boston during the moment of silence attended by Governor Deval Patrick.
Joe Muxie holds a small bouquet of flowers at the Garden of Peace in downtown Boston during the moment of silence attended by Governor Deval Patrick. –Bill Greene/Globe Staff

In the midst of a heavy downpour, church bells rang and Governor Deval Patrick held a moment of silence today at the state’s memorial to murder victims in memory of the 20 children and six teachers killed in the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.

The attack by suspected shooter Adam Lanza began at 9:30 last Friday when he broke into the Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed the teachers and children before killing himself. Before the school massacre, Lanza murdered his mother in their Newtown home, authorities said.

Governor Deval Patrick (Bill Greene/Globe Staff)

In Boston today, the bells at the historic Old North Church were rung 26 times as were the bells at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End, the main church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. In Newtown, the tolling of church bells and call of the names too seven minutes to complete.


Governor Deval Patrick was among those gathered at the Garden of Peace, the state’s memorial to murder victims, in downtown Boston.

At Tanisha Milton’s social studies class at the Tech Boston Academy in Dorchester, many students wore green and white, the school colors for Sandy Hook elementary. At 9:30 a.m., the classroom of sixth- and seventh-graders fell silent for 26 seconds, one second for each victim.

Milton then led the children in a discussion about the incident, a conversation that many children joined, including 14-year-old Reynaldo Maldonado.

“I feel sad for those children,’’ Maldonado said of the Newtown victims. “They were looking forward to lots of things.’’

Christian Gillard, 13, noted that the children could have become athletes or scientists.

“I feel bad for these kids because they can’t have a future,’’ Gillard said. “Their whole lives were taken away.’’

Milton, the teacher, made it clear to her class that they were safe with her and inside the school on Peacevale Road in Dorchester. She also urged them to think about their own futures.

“Just know there is hope,’’ she said.

During the morning Mass at the Cathedral in the South End, bells rang 26 times and Father Kevin O’Leary he led a Mass where he recognized the victims of the school massacre. And students from Cathedral High School rehearsed for a 10:30 a.m. end of year prayer service that will also take note of those who died in Newtown last week.


The students, all seniors, laid a long paper-link chain on the steps leading to the pulpit. There were 20 yellow links, for the children who died and numerous white links representing the community. And while most observances today did not include the shooter and his mother, Nancy Lanza, the paper-link chain at the Cathedral had eight green links, one each for the six teachers and one each for the Lanzas.

Other churches in the Boston Archdiocese participating included St. Mary, Brookline; St. Francis de Sales Parish, Charlestown; Saint John the Evangelist, Winthrop; St. John’s in Townsend; Sacred Hearts, Bradford; Gate of Heaven & St. Brigid, South Boston; St. Thomas Aquinas, Jamaica Plain; St. Mary’s, Beverly; Immaculate Conception, Everett, and St. Columbkille in Brighton.

Public safety personnel also silenced their radio conversations — except for emergencies — today.

Profiles of the 20 children slain are available here. Profiles of the adult victims can be found here.

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