Nancy Neal hoped her 6-year-old daughter would feel an outpouring of love.
"To get her to understand, and she is in the first grade, it could have happened in her class," said Neal.
It's been four days now since the tragedy unfolded but the images are still just as heartbreaking as when we first saw them.
"So we have gathered tonight in memory of those that lost their lives in this evil, signifying by our presence as a community that we share the grief of the people in Newtown," said Sanford resident Tom Snell.
The Red Cross set up a table at the vigil for children and adults to write letters and cards to the Newtown residents.
"I put I'm very sorry, then I put a wreath, then I put Merry Christmas," said nine-year-old Zenobria McLean.
"I feel so sorry for the people who got killed and they might feel more calm when they go to school," said eight-year-old Jabarri Person.