Two days after the shooting massacre at a Connecticut school in which 26 people were killed, there has been an outpouring of support from around the world.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement that her country “grieves with America” over the shooting, and said, “like President Obama and his fellow Americans, our hearts too are broken.”
“We mourn the loss of brave teachers who sought only to lead their students into that future but were brutally murdered in a place of refuge and learning,” she said.
Similar statements were issued by Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Pope Benedict XVI, who described the incident as “senseless violence,” according to Reuters.
In the United Kingdom, residents as well as CNN host Piers Morgan said the tragedy was similar to the 1996 shooting in the Scottish town of Dunblane that left 16 children dead, reported The Associated Press.
“This is America’s Dunblane,” Morgan said, according to AP. “We banned handguns in Britain after that appalling tragedy. What will the U.S. do? Inaction not an option.”
Some residents of Newtown received personal messages of support.
“I just had a lady call from Montana,” Scudder Smith, publisher of local paper the Newtown Bee, told NBC News. “She said she’s going to send me a box of bears to distribute when the time is right so the kids can hug some bears.”
On Saturday, officials revealed the names of the six adults, 12 girls, and eight boys who were killed.
“We’ve been hearing from people all over the country asking how they can help and what they can do to support he families,” Newtown Savings Bank President John Trentacosta told NBC. “This all happened so quickly.”
Jim Solomon, the pastor with the New Hope Community Church, said that he began receiving phone calls just after the shooting took place.
“We’ve been getting what seems like literally thousands of inquiries,” he said. “I’m touched by the level of support not only from all around our nation but from around the world. They want to do something practical.”
His church set up a website for donations that “will go directly to the fund established for the families of the Sandy Hook victims.”
“We’re going to use that money to help each family with food or funeral and memorial services, burial expenses or any other needs so we can help them in a very practical way,” he added.
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