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Turlockers pay tribute to victims of Conn. school shooting
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Attendees of a vigil held for the victims of the Dec. 14 Newton, Conn. school shooting gather in front of a handmade memorial on a wall at the Sunrise Inn in Turlock on Friday.

A group of Turlockers gathered Friday to cry, and to mourn those lost in the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The vigil and memorial was organized by Turlocker Maggie Moralez.

The day of the tragedy, Dec. 14, Moralez said it took a while for what had happened to sink in.  But as she went to tuck in her 10 year-old son that evening, thinking about those who will never be able to tuck in their children again, she felt an overwhelming need to memorialize those lost.

“I went, oh my goodness, I have to do something,” Moralez said.

About 20 Turlockers attended the vigil, held alongside Golden State Boulevard at the Sunrise Inn. Community members held candles and prayed for the victims. Some also spoke about the importance of caring for one’s own family members, as such a tragedy could strike anyone.

Attendees made posters and cut out hearts, each bearing a victim’s name, turning a Sunrise Inn wall into a makeshift memorial site.

“I just wanted people to know that Turlock has a heart too,” Moralez said. “When they lost, we lost. It put a hole in our heart too.”

The shooting, which saw a mentally ill 20-year-old fatally shoot 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.