The chiming of bells reverberated throughout Newtown, CT, on Friday, commemorating one week since the crackle of gunfire in a schoolhouse killed 20 children and six adults in a massacre that has shaken the community - and the nation - to its core.
Officials didn't plan any formal remarks Friday morning, when similar commemorations were planned throughout the country.
The White House said President Barack Obama planned to privately observe the moment of silence.
In Georgia, places of worship across the state rang their bells 26 times at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Diana Coffee joined other residents in downtown McDonough as someone manually rang the bell on the old courthouse building.
"Even though we are a long way from Connecticut, we are so sorry for what happened to those children. If it can happen there it can happen here. We need to remember them," said Coffee.
On the day that four more children and a teacher were laid to rest in Newtown, people gathered 1,000 miles away in downtown McDonough to remember them with others across the country.
"Last Friday morning these ladies, these six educators left home, wished their families well and probably kissed each other. More importantly, the young kids who left home last week to go to school, mothers kissed them, they loved each other and walked away and then such a terrible thing took place afterwards. It's just heart-wrenching," said McDonough Mayor Billy Copeland.
"We're limited to what we can do for those who are hurting, but to take time and to make it a statement that we feel for them and that we do care," said McDonough resident BJ Seal.
"It hits close to home. These are children we are talking about who hadn't even had the chance to live. No matter how far, it's always going to hit close to home," said Jabari Ellison.
The University of Georgia also joined communities nationwide - tolling the Chapel Bell in Athens in memory of the victims of last Friday's mass murder.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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