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article imageMemorial service held for mother of Sandy Hook school shooter

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 2, 2013 in World
Kingston - A service to remember Nancy Lanza, mother and first victim of Adam Lanza who killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was held in Kingston, New Hampshire.
As the sixth month anniversary of the killings at the elementary school approaches, family and friends of Lanza, 52, felt enough time had passed to honour the woman's memory. Although a funeral was held a week after the horrific murders, it was private. This was the first opportunity for friends of the family to pay their respects.
The service was held yesterday at First Congregational Church of Kingston to remember the woman who was viewed differently from the other victims in Newtown. She was criticized for keeping guns in the house she shared with her mentally ill son.
Lanza was shot to death by her youngest son Adam on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012 before he left to go to Sandy Hook Elementary. Once there, he shot and killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself as first responders entered the building.
Among those in attendance, were Lanza's eldest son, Ryan, her former husband, Peter, her mother. and James Champion, her brother and a popular Kingston police officer. The family stopped off at the cemetery to visit Lanza's grave before heading to the church that was guarded by a heavy police presence.
Ryan Lanza spoke at the service, bringing many people present to tears as he described his mother's devotion to her two sons. John Berquist, a close friend of Nancy's, said, "He seemed so strong and seeing this made it so emotional. I just feel for [Ryan]. He's gone through hell. He lost his mother and his brother died and was the perpetrator of this."
Tracy Taylor, who went to high school with Nancy, expressed the view of family and friends that she was just another victim in Newtown that day. Taylor said, "It's a tragedy that they portrayed her as somebody who allowed a mentally ill child to have guns and roam around. We still feel Nancy was a victim. We feel terrible that this happened."
Nancy married Peter in Kingston in June 1981 and moved to Connecticut in 1998. The family is well known and well liked in Kingston.
Adam Lanza's body was claimed by his father and the place of his burial has not been made public.
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