Joins Nation in Day of Mourning for Newtown victims

December 21, 2012

LOS ANGELES - The bells of the oldest black church in Los Angeles rang out in memory of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims at 6:30 a.m. today, the time when the massacre began exactly a week ago.

The bells of the First AME Church of Los Angeles in the Adams district tolled 26 times, once for each victim, then rang out a verse of the hymn "Nearer My God to Thee" in a ceremony coinciding with one in Connecticut.

Another ceremony is planned at First AME at 9:30 a.m. as part of a planned statewide moment of reflection in memory of the shooting victims, said church spokesman Michael Ellison-Lewis.

"First AME Church of Los Angeles bells have been rung in many other watershed moments in our church's over 140-year history," Pastor J. Edgar Boyd said. "Friday we join others in remembering those who lost their lives tragically and join with the entire community to continue to work toward peace."

Gov. Jerry Brown called for Californians to observe a moment of silence
in memory for the shooting victims at 9:30 a.m., honoring a request Connecticut
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made of all his fellow governors.

"Let us all come together collectively to mourn the loss of far too many promising lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School," Malloy said.

"Though we will never know the full measure of sorrow experienced by these families, we can let them know that we stand with them during this difficult time."