Newtown Connecticut is a community rocked by violence. Wednesday, officials who were on hand at the second deadliest mass shooting by a single person in the US, talked about their experiences. It was part of Lafayette College's Meyner Center's 11th annual forum on local government. Speaking to a crowd of about 100, First Selectman of the Town of Newtown, Pat Llodra said the tragedy does not define the community.
"We are choosing to be defined by our courage, and our love, and by our resilience, and by our ability to always remember this," she explained. "But never be harmed permanently."
She says the town is rebuilding. But over the last few months they've had many unexpected things to deal with, like donations including 45,000 teddy bears and more than 200,000 pieces of mail.
"I think the event itself was so horrific that it taped into that spirit of giving from across the world," shared Llodra. "We really received goods and services and letters and kindness from every continent, from almost every country in every continent and in more than 20 languages."
Even though the massacre lasted only minutes, the aftermath will go on forever. But Newtown is bouncing back.
"We're a very strong community," added Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe. "We're a very caring community, and we will move on and we will be better because of this event."