FAIRFIELD/NEWTOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) - One boy was buried in his hero's football jersey in a small white coffin. Balloons and a teddy bear welcomed mourners to the funeral of his first grade schoolmate.
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memorial services and burials for the 20 children and six adults massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Mourners packed into the funeral for the youngest victim, Noah Pozner, age 6.
"Every time I told Noah, 'I love you,' he always answered, 'Not as much as I love you,'" his mother, Veronique Pozner, told mourners at his funeral, recalled Rabbi Edgar Gluck after the burial service.
The deaths of so many children, all ages 6 and 7, sparked new talk of gun control in Washington, long reluctant to take on the highly charged issue, with U.S. President Barack Obama meeting key advisers and one pro-gun senator calling on the nation's gun lobby to rethink its position.
The shooting sent waves of anxiety across the country on the first school day since a 20-year-old gunman opened fire on the students and teachers in the close-knit community, located 80 miles northeast Cheap Tiffany - Cheap Tiffany Jewelry, Buy Cheap Tiffany Co Jewellery 70% Discount!
of New York City, last week.
Lockdowns were declared at schools in nearby Connecticut and New York towns on fears of danger that turned out to be unfounded. In southern California, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio, authorities arrested men on Sunday for making threats against schools.
Newtown's schools remained closed after a weekend of mourning that followed Adam Lanza's shooting spree on Friday that claimed 28 lives, including his mother's and his own.
'VIVACIOUS YOUNG BOY'
At the funeral for Jack Pinto, also 6, in Newtown, about a half dozen children wearing a wrestling's club gold medals took off the awards and gave them to their teammate's parents. A New York Giants fan, Jack was dressed in a red-and-white jersey with receiver Victor Cruz's number 80 as he lay in an open white casket.
"Jack was an incredibly loving and vivacious young boy, appreciated by all who knew him for his lively and giving spirit and steely determination," his parents, Dean and Tricia Pinto, and brother said in his obituary in the Newtown Bee newspaper.
In Fairfield, a teddy bear and bouquet of white flowers lay at the base of an oak tree outside the Jewish service for Pozner, whose twin sister, Arielle, escaped unhurt.
"Noah was an impish, larger-than-life little boy," his parents and four Cheap UGG Boots--Cheap UGG Boots for Sale at cheapuggboots.uk85.org
siblings said in an obituary, also in the Bee. "Everything he did conveyed action and energy through love. He was the light of our family, a little soul devoid of spite."
THORNY POLITICAL ISSUE
A day after meeting with families of victims and addressing a shocked nation from Newtown, Obama on Monday held a White House meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and three Cabinet members to discuss ways to respond.
An administration spokesman said Obama's plan for action to curb violence includes gun control "but is far from all of it." He declined to offer specific details.
Gun control is a politically charged topic in the United States, with the powerful National Rifle Association mustering strong resistance to tighter rules on gun ownership.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out at fellow politicians for their reluctance to take on the gun lobby.
"Somehow or other, we've come to think that getting re-elected is more important than saving lives, that political power is more important than saving lives," he said in an angry, emotional press conference at New York City Hall. "Enough."
A growing number of U.S. lawmakers called for a look at curbing assault weapons like the one used in the massacre. The ban on the weapons expired in 2004.
"Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered. This never happened in America, that I can recall," said Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who has earned top marks from the gun industry. "This has changed where we go from here."
A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that the massacre had influenced Americans' thinking on guns. Some 50 percent of people surveyed after the shooting agreed that "gun ownership should have strong regulations of restrictions," up from 42 percent who agreed with that statement before Friday's shooting.
INVESTIGATION GOES ON
Police said it could take months for them to finish their investigation The Best Nike Free Run Shoes - Nike Free Run 2/3/3.0/5.0
into the attack, which started when Adam Lanza killed his mother, Nancy, at home, before driving to the school armed with a Bushmaster AR 15 rifle and two handguns. He left a shotgun in his car.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said he had decided on Friday to break the news to the parents and relatives who had spent hours waiting outside the school that their children were dead. That marked a departure from normal practice as officials were still struggling to formally identify all the bodies.
"There was a reluctance to tell parents and loved ones that the person they were waiting for was not going to return," Malloy said in a tearful press conference. "I made the decision that to have that go on any longer was wrong. I did it."
With Newtown schools closed, about 200 volunteers set up an indoor play area to keep children busy. Inside a local youth academy, volunteers urged a boy wearing Spider-Man sneakers, a girl carrying a stuffed Dalmatian toy and about 1,000 other children to join in athletics, board games and arts and crafts.
(Additional reporting by Peter Rudegeair, Ed Krudy, Dan Burns, Hilary Russ, Dan Trotta, Kim Palmer, Jonathan Allen and Susan Heavey; Writing by Scott Malone and Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Jackie Frank)WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye, a decorated World War Two veteran who lost an arm in battle and represented Hawaii in Congress since its statehood more than a half century ago, died on Monday at age 88.
Inouye, who was chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and third in the line of presidential succession as the Senate's senior member, died of complications from a respiratory illness, his office said in a statement.
"Aloha" was the last word he spoke, the statement said.
The son of a Japanese immigrant father and a Hawaii-born mother whose parents came from Japan, Inouye and his family were declared "enemy aliens" by the U.S. government at the outbreak of World War Two. Inouye would later rise to become the highest-ranking elected Asian-American official in U.S. politics.
During a political career spanning seven decades, he gained national attention on the Senate Watergate Committee and as chairman of the Select Intelligence Committee during the 1970s.
He was also chairman of a special panel that investigated the Iran-Contra affair - involving secret U.S. support of anti-Communist Nicaraguan rebels with illegal sales of missiles to Iran - during Ronald Reagan's http://uggbootsclearance.uk85.org
presidency in the 1980s.
At the time, he criticized what he called a "shadowy government with ... the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself."
His death, at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Maryland, was announced on the Senate floor by Majority Leader Harry Reid, who hailed Inouye as one of the "greats of this body."
President Barack Obama saluted Inouye as a "true American hero" for his wartime service and his work on Capitol Hill to "strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve."
BALANCE OF POWER
Under Hawaii law, Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie will name a successor to fill Inouye's seat until a new senator is picked in the 2014 general election.
Because Abercrombie is expected to name a fellow Democrat, Inouye's death is unlikely to change the balance of power in the 100-member Senate, where Democrats were expected to maintain a 55-45 majority over Republicans.
First elected to Congress as Hawaii's first full-fledged member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Inouye took office on August 21, 1959, the date Hawaii became the 50th U.S. state. He went on to win election to the U.S. Senate in 1962.
After nine consecutive Senate terms, Inouye was the only member of the state's original congressional delegation still serving on Capitol Hill.
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after the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and became the most senior member when Byrd died in 2010.
Inouye thus assumed the largely ceremonial post of president pro tempore of the Senate, making him third in line to succeed to the U.S. presidency after the vice president and speaker of the House.
Inouye began his public service at age 17, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after the 1941 Japanese attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, during which he had served as a U.S. medical volunteer.
Inouye was not sent to an internment camp as were many Americans of Japanese ancestry when the war started because Hawaii, then a U.S. territory, was placed under control of military authorities, he told National Public Radio last year.
But he was declared an "enemy alien," and was among those who petitioned the government for the right to serve in the U.S. military to prove their allegiance. In late 1942, at age 17, he enlisted.
"I was angered to realize that my government thought that I was disloyal and part of the enemy, and I wanted to be able to demonstrate not only to my government but to my neighbors that I was a good American," he said in an interview aired as part of Ken Burns' 2007 documentary "The War."
He joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a unit of U.S. soldiers of Japanese ancestry. Serving in Europe with distinction, Inouye lost his right arm while charging a series of German machine-gun nests on a hill in Italy in 1945.
The injury earned him a Purple Heart and other awards but ended his nike free cheap
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ambitions to be a surgeon. Instead, he earned a law degree and entered politics after the war.
When asked in recent days how he wanted to be remembered, his office said Inouye replied, "I represented the people of Hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability. I think I did OK."
Inouye's death will propel Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, to become president pro tempore of the Senate, as the member with the most seniority on the majority side, a Senate leadership aide said.
Leahy was also in line to become the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, though he already chairs the Judiciary Committee and could not keep both posts without a waiver. If he did give up the gavel at Judiciary, that could open up the leadership of that committee to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, a champion of gun control cheap ugg boots
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(Reporting By Kim Dixon, David Lawder, Patricia Zengerle, Susan Cornwell and Tom Ferraro in Washington D.C., Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Malia Mattoch McManus in Honolulu; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Jackie Frank)