Stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer rest at the base of a tree near the Newtown VIllage Cemetery in Newtown, Conn., Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Six-year-old student Jack Pinto, who was killed Friday when a gunman opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School, is scheduled to be buried at the cemetery Monday afternoon. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) -- The agonizing task of laying to rest the victims of last week's elementary school shooting continued in Connecticut today.
Back-to-back funerals were held at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown for first-graders James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos. They were the first of eight to be held in the coming days at the church.
James was said to have loved recess and math and was described by his family as a "numbers guy" who couldn't wait until he was old enough to order a foot-long Subway sandwich.
Traffic in front of the church slowed to a crawl as police directed vehicles into the church parking lot. At one point, a school bus carrying elementary students got stuck in traffic -- the children pressing their faces into the windows, sadly watching at the mourners assembled.
The first service had not yet concluded when mourners began arriving for the funeral of Jessica. She loved horses and was counting the years until she turned 10, when her family had promised her a horse of her own.