Virginia joined the rest of the nation Friday morning in pausing to reflect on the lives lost in Newtown, CT.
Governor Bob McDonnell called the attack a dark moment for our country. State workers joined him in pausing for a moment of silence. Just outside the state capitol, the bell tower rang 26 times giving Virginia pause.
"Will you join me in a moment of silence," said Gov. McDonnell just after 9:30 a.m.
"Each time the bell rung, someone's life was taken away," said attendee Nora Smith.
She brought her 11-year-old son Gabriel to show solidarity.
"What if the last time I dropped him off at school? What if it was the last time I saw him?" Smith questioned.
The tragedy gave her reason to hold Gabriel a little closer.
"I think it's really, really sad," Gabriel said.
Governor McDonnell took a moment to offer comfort.
"I don't want you to be scared ok? I just want you to learn and study and work hard," he told little Gabriel.
He also encouraged Virginia to stay strong.
"To think of someone going into a school and slaughtering 20 innocent beautiful little children… it's just something as human beings we have a hard time getting our hands around," McDonnell said.
Especially since the Commonwealth has seen tragedy hit close to home during the attacks at Virginia Tech.
"We, perhaps unlike any other state, understand the horror of young people being stricken in their prime of life as we faced on April 16, 2007," the governor added.
So with each sound of the bell, people like Smith honored each victim of from Sandy Hook School in Connecticut.
"To pay my respects. Kind of like a healing thing too," Smith said.
"I feel really bad for those kids because they never got to see Christmas," Gabriel added.
Friday's reflection lasted several minutes but those who attended said it was a very fitting tribute to say they care and remember.
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