Smiles and tears for the families of Newtown

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RESIDENTS of Newtown celebrated Christmas yesterday, just over a week after the shooting in the town.

The largely Christian community was shaken when Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old gunman armed with a military-style assault rifle shot dead 20 children aged six and seven, and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“We are getting through this with our faith and our prayer. People are smiling a little more now,” said local man John Barry. “The week was so horrible. Now it’s time to celebrate Christmas.”

Husband and wife Dan and Michelle McAloon gathered families and children to go Christmas caroling this year for the first time.

“We were just spreading some cheer, trying to make the situation a little better,” Mrs McAloon said.

“They all smiled, and they all cried a little,” she said of the victims’ families.

A Christmas Eve Mass was held at Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church.

Nine families from the parish lost someone in the shooting.