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Moment of silence, bells mark Newtown school shooting

A moment of silence was observed in Connecticut and around the United States on Friday to mark the passing of one week since the massacre of 20 small children and six staff at an elementary school.

Bells tolled 26 times in Newtown, scene of the carnage. Outdoors, people stopped what they were doing and stood in driving rain to remember the victims.

State Governor Dannel Malloy had called on Connecticut residents to reflect in silence at 09:30 am (1430 GMT), the minute on Dec. 14 that 20-year-old Adam Lanza burst into the Sandy Hook Elementary School and began his shooting rampage with a powerful military-style rifle.

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"Let us all come together collectively to mourn the loss of far too many promising lives," Mr. Malloy said. "Though we will never know the full measure of sorrow experienced by these families, we can let them know that we stand with them during this difficult time."

State governors from Hawaii to Florida also called on their residents to observe their own moment of silence at 09:30 am local time in solidarity with Connecticut.

Houses of worship around the country embraced the week's anniversary.

The National Council of Churches said that thousands of churches would "observe a minute of silence and at 9:30 am Friday sound their bells 26 times in memory of the victims who died in the school."

On the crowd-sourced charity site, causes.com, almost 177,000 people had signed up by early Friday to pledge a moment's silence.

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