Hudson Valley joins Newtown in vigils Friday for school victims

Two women light candles at a makeshift memorial Two women light candles at a makeshift memorial in Newtown, Conn. People continue to mourn the killing of 20 students and 6 adults by gunman Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December 14. (Dec. 21, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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In a gesture of solidarity, several communities in the Hudson Valley are planning ceremonies Friday to mark a week since the school massacre in nearby Newtown, Conn.

In Yonkers, Mayor Mike Spano has asked that residents join in a moment of silence in remembrance of the Sandy Hook shooting victims at 9:30 a.m.

In Mount Vernon, Mayor Ernie Davis will lead a somber ceremony that will include a moment of silence at 11 a.m. to coincide with tolling church bells in Newtown. The group, which will gather at City Hall's rotunda, will say a prayer for the victims after the moment of silence.

In Sleepy Hollow, residents will gather for an interfaith vigil at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The village also will collect gifts and letters for the young survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Adam Lanza shot dead six adults and 20 children at the school Dec. 14 before killing himself. Earlier in the day, he killed his mother.

And in Yorktown, neighbors will gather at the Jack DeVito Memorial Field on Veterans Road at 7 p.m. Friday for a candlelight vigil. Like their counterparts in Sleepy Hollow and other towns, organizers will collect letters of support for the surviving Newtown victims.

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There also will be a coordinated moment of silence in schools across the country. Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy has invited school principals and teachers to lead their students in a national moment of silence, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

The vigils and moments of silence were announced Thursday as mourners in Katonah buried victim Anne Marie Murphy. The 52-year-old teacher grew up in Katonah and lived in Sandy Hook, a community within Newtown, for the past 14 years, working as a teacher's aide at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Catholic archbishop of the Diocese of New York, was a concelebrant at the funeral Mass and praised Murphy for her selflessness as Lanza rampaged through the school. Murphy died while shielding 6-year-old Dylan Hockley from Lanza's bullets.

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