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Funerals for 4 kids, teacher shot at Conn. school

Funerals for 4 kids, teacher shot at elementary school set for Thursday in Conn., NY

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    A police honor guard arrives for the funeral service of Victoria Soto at Lordship Community Church, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Stratford, Conn. Soto was killed when a gunman forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Dec. 14 and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

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    A coffin bearing the body of Victoria Soto is carried out of Lordship Community Church after her funeral service, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Stratford, Conn. Soto was killed when Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself.(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

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    Mourners wait outside before the funeral service of Victoria Soto at Lordship Community Church, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Stratford, Conn. Soto was killed when a gunman forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Dec. 14, and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

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    People walk at St. Rose of Lima parish cemetery before funeral services for Daniel Gerard Barden, one of the students killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. Barden, 7, was killed when the gunman, Adam Lanza, walked into the school, Dec. 14, and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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  • Connecticut-School-Shooting-117

    A man crosses the street on a main road in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn., as the strong media presence is seen in the aftermath of the elementary school shooting that shocked the small, quiet town, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. News about the shooting spread quickly across the world, prompting media outlets to set camp in the small town. The gunman, Adam Lanza, walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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    Firefighters salute as a hearse passes for the funeral procession to the burial of 7-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Daniel Gerard Barden on Wednesday.

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    A man holds a sign while riding on a procession through one of the main streets in Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn., during a procession toward St. Rose of Lima parish cemetery before burial services for Daniel Gerard Barden, one of the students killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. The small, quiet town has seen gridlock traffic caused by funeral processions as well as the large number of national and international media covering the aftermath of the shooting. Barden, 7, was killed when the gunman, Adam Lanza, walked into the school, Dec. 14, and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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    Firefighters line up outside the funeral for school shooting victim Daniel Gerard Barden at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn., Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. According to firefighters, Daniel wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up and they honored him at the service. Gunman Adam Lanza opened fire killing 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown before killing himself on Friday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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APTOPIX-Connecticut-School-Shooting-19

Firefighters salute as a hearse passes for the funeral procession to the burial of 7-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Daniel Gerard Barden on Wednesday.

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NEWTOWN, Conn. — A single bell tolled Thursday at the Connecticut funeral of a 6-year-old girl killed by a gunman at her elementary school, while a cardinal in New York compared a slain teacher to Jesus for giving up her life to protect others.

In Newtown, the site of the shooting rampage, grim-faced mourners hurried through the packed parking lot of St. Rose of Lima Church to attend the funeral Mass for 6-year-old Catherine Hubbard.

Catherine's family said in her obituary that she would be remembered for her passion for animals and her constant smile.

Catherine was among the 20 students and six teachers killed when Adam Lanza, armed with a military-style assault rifle, broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14 and opened fire. Lanza killed his mother at her home before the attack and committed suicide at the school as police closed in.

Funerals were also scheduled in Connecticut on Thursday for 7-year-old Grace McDonnell and 6-year-olds Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, Jesse Lewis and Allison Wyatt.

In New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan told mourners at the funeral of 52-year-old Anne Marie Murphy that the teacher "brought together a community, a nation, a world, now awed by her own life and death." Murphy's father, Hugh McGowan, said authorities told him that she died trying to protect her young pupils.

"Like Jesus, Annie laid down her life for her friends," Dolan said. "Like Jesus, Annie's life and death brings light, truth, goodness and love to a world often shrouded in darkness, evil, selfishness and death."

About 15 people arrived at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Katonah, N.Y., in a yellow school bus with "Newtown" written on its side. The church quickly filled and about 100 mourners waited outside.

Murphy's brother-in-law Thomas Newman read a brief statement before the service.

Her relatives "pray, for all the families touched so terribly, that God may help these feelings of such great pain and grief pass quickly; that they be replaced with only happy thoughts and joyous memories of those we have lost," they said.

Janelle Wingert, of Wyoming, said in an email interview that she met Murphy when they were involved in the same faith-based community service activities in the Newtown area. She said Murphy asked her after 9/11 what she would do if someone attacked a school where she was working.

"She was serious and so intense in the question," Wingert said in a Facebook post. "She died doing exactly what she said she would do — put herself between the gunman and her little ones, who she saw as the most precious of all in God's heart."

A long line of mourners waited to enter a memorial service for teacher Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau on Thursday.

Trinity Episcopal church on Newtown's Main Street was filled to capacity for the funeral of Benjamin Wheeler, and scores of mourners who couldn't get in milled about outside on a chilly day. The service for a child described as a lighthouse buff, budding musician and Beatles fan included a rendition of "Here Comes The Sun" and the hymn "Amazing Grace."

Benjamin's five uncles acted as pallbearers. About two dozen Boy Scout leaders lined the front pathway to the church in honor of the former Cub Scout.

A U.S. Justice Department official told The Associated Press on Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Newtown on Friday to meet with first responders and law enforcement officials. The trip comes after Holder met with Vice President Joe Biden, who is tasked with leading an administration-wide effort to create new proposals for reducing gun violence.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the trip hadn't been publicly announced.

In addition to the services, the families of 6-year-old Olivia Rose Engel, behavioral therapist Rachel Marie D'Avino and school psychologist Mary Sherlach have calling hours Thursday.

At least nine funerals and wakes were held Wednesday, and more are set for Friday and Saturday.

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