Day of mourning in Phoenix, Tempe for Conn. shooting victims

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Twenty-six ring tones could be heard throughout downtown Phoenix on Friday.

Each ring represented a student or staffer from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

Vickie Bracamonte works downtown and showed up to the Capital to hear the bells.

“I’m not so sad for the children. I’m sad for the families of what they have to go through and the grief and darkness and despair for what they have to go through for their rest of their lives,” said Bracamonte.

Bracamonte lost a young child many years ago in a car accident.

She knows the pain parents, family members, and the country are feeling because of the shooting.

“When I hear children die I feel really bad for the parents because the heartache and it never leaves.  Your heart is broken, it mends but it will always be broken,” said Bracamonte.

Governor Jan Brewer ordered a day of mourning here in Arizona for those in Connecticut.

In Tempe, parents with students at Sunrise Preschools were asked to bring something for students at Sandy Hook. 

Staff expected a few hundred gifts, instead parents brought more than 2,000 stuffed animals and books for the children.

“We still are speechless. We actually had to cut off donations at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday so we could get them packaged so we could get them sent along,” said Dana Vela, President of Sunrise Preschools.

The children also wrote letters for those at Sandy Hook.

The first sentence of one note read “I’m so very sorry”.

“I think all of us felt compelled to do something. Certainly anyone who is a parent or works with children or has young children in their lives felt truly compelled to do something,” said Vela.