Mourning continues in Scottish town

Queen, Princess to attend memorial service for slain children and teacher

March 16, 1996
Web posted : 3:45 p.m. EST

From Correspondent Rob Reynolds

DUNBLANE, Scotland (CNN) -- All day long Saturday, the mourners made a sad pilgrimage to a wall lined with flowers. Hundreds walked through the morning chill to pay their respects.

Some came alone, some with friends for support. And many parents brought their children -- compelled to make a gesture, to leave behind a token to show that they care.

At the wall -- a toy, a flower, hand-lettered cards spoke more eloquently than a bishop's sermon or a politician's speech.

On a teddy bear: the date of the massacre and the message "This day God overslept."

Eight children and two teachers are still hospitalized following Wednesday's bloody attack by Thomas Hamilton, a rumored pedophile who cut down a class of 5- and 6-year-olds before turning the gun on himself. Two of those wounded children are in critical condition. Sixteen children and a teacher died from the shooting.


Veronica Hutchison is grateful that her 5-year-old daughter Amy is merely recovering from a wounded knee.

"I feel so sad and upset for the parents who lost children," she said. "We will never forget Mrs. Mayer or the 16 innocent loved ones who died." (255K AIFF sound or 255K WAV sound)

Deep in shock and in mourning, Dunblane is the focus of world-wide sympathy. But Scots are a reserved people. So much attention on top of so much tragedy has upset some people.

"After the funerals at the end of this coming week, I think it would be very important that the press respectfully withdraw," said Ros Kirk, a support center coordinator.

People praying

On Sunday, Dunblane Cathedral will hold a memorial service. Queen Elizabeth II and her daughter Princess Anne will attend.

And in the days following, the town will bury its dead, and begin to get on with living.

"A year from now the hurt is still going to be there," said Gerard McDermott of the Dunblane School Board, "but it will get easier." (128K AIFF sound or 128K WAV sound)

Perhaps when the last camera crews and dignitaries are gone, and the last flowers are taken away, McDermott's prediction will come true. But neither then nor now can Dunblane ever be the same.

A town mourns (109K JPEG image)


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