NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut town where the crackle of gunfire was heard a week ago has been filled with the sound of bells chiming this morning.
Church bells were rung 26 times -- once for each of the teachers and children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday.
Similar commemorations took place throughout the country. The White House says president Barack Obama privately observed a moment of silence.
Outside the town hall in Newtown, traffic stopped as bells rang out to honor the dead. Firefighters bowed their heads around a memorial filled with teddy bears, other stuffed animals and a New York Giants pillow.
One woman who says she knew seven of the victims says when she heard the bells -- in her words -- "it just melted my soul." Another woman, who came from a neighboring town, said, "Everybody wants to do something." She says the shooting "shook that false sense of security that we had."