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December 18th, 2012
09:23 AM ET

Newtown Firefighter: 'We'll be scarred forever'

Ray Corbo and Rob Manna have lived in Newtown, Connecticut for their whole lives. Both firefighters, who were first responders to the Sandy Hook school shooting, tell Anderson Cooper about the grief and unity in their town.

They also talk about coping with the experience of setting up a triage unit outside the school before it was discovered there were no injured victims still alive to be treated. "We will recover somewhat, but...the scar's not going to go away," says Corbo.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Elizabeth

    Is this our tipping point as a nation? I want to thank you, Mr. Cooper, for stripping the non-human perpetrator of this crime of any affiliation to humanity by not speaking his name. I firmly believe that your reporting approach for this horror is the first sane step on the difficult road we must travel. We will never, as a species, be able to make the paradigm shifts necessary to achieve humanity without more deliberately planning our journey. Thank you.

    December 19, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  2. BetsySchutte

    There is a group of people that I feel are being forgotten in this horrific situation, and that is the funeral directors (the "last responders"). As the daughter of a retired funeral director in a small town in Indiana, I know that funerals for children are often EXTREMELY difficult for a funeral director. Especially in small towns where everyone knows each other, a funeral director could have personal relationships with so many people. They often have to grieve in silence, and are often overlooked when they really need support. For one funeral home to have the responsibility of burying 10 children in a week will be heart-breaking for them.

    December 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  3. Hadi

    Why nobody campaigns against second amendment? That was good for wild wild west era.

    December 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  4. Raul Perez

    This sad story has touched many, not only in the US, but in many countries. This isolated violent event in what seems to be a quiet and nice small town, should make us think, that there is always some low probability, difficult to avoid, big disaster able to impact such town in a terribly awful way. I praise your sense of unity and community. We hope Newtowners overcome this with time, and comfot and strengther each other.

    We have been following in the Dominican Republic this tragic news and so sad and devastating aftermath at Sandy Hook elementary school. As Mr. Cooper read names and added a few remarks about each of the children and adults killed, we could only share our tears with all suffering families. We have been praying for them since last friday at home, and since last sabbath in main church service, and in Christmass night vigils on saturday and monday evenings. On Monday a 9th grader promoted with a school principal that students and teachers pay a minute of silence in his school, which they did last Monday, in memory of precious lives lossed.

    I lost one sing 3 years ago at birth and I felt so impacted. Even so, I cannot even imagine what it is to loss a child after you have loved and cared so much and raised for 6 or 7 years. This can only be healed by God.

    May God bless you and offer you his abundant love, grace and peace in this sorrowful time. We wish we could do something else. Please convey our prayerful thoughts and feelings with these families.

    J. Raul Perez D.

    December 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  5. Beverli

    I pray all News stations refrain from the horrific details of the scene....not at all needed....there will be no trial/jury here....as far as the scene as a retired officer of the law I stll live with past murder scenes...and they r vivid.....why not hv local/state officials declare that date a holiday and no school in reverance of those precious lives lost....I pray strenght and comfort to all affected ....I pray Gods mercy and grace in the coming future.....in Jesus name the citi

    December 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  6. Donna.McCollum

    I am a grandmother of a 6 year old who is in first grade. I also have a daughter who is a guidance counselor at a elementary school . This horrific act of violence has hit our nation very hard. I am suggesting that on the evening of December 23, Sunday that we as a nation turn off our Christmas lights for that one evening in memory of all the babies , wonderful teachers who lost their lives.

    December 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  7. Buck

    The recent spate of socially disenfranchised young men who literally feel invisible in their community and perform these hideous acts for attention and their fifteen minutes of infamous fame are facilitated by the media. Does CNN think that this goes unnoticed by others with similar motivations? As their depression worsens they want to be noticed, remembered at any cost. Mass killings make the news and turn an invisible person into a name and a face. Gun control is too simplistic an answer. China just recently and a number of times over the last few years has had vicious attacks at elementary schools by knife wielding mentally disturbed individuals. Many children were killed. Do you ask for knife control? I listened to CNN's reports that chastised the mother for taking her son to the gun range. In reality if you have guns in the house the best thing you can do is have the family go through a gun safety class and learn a healthy respect. It's also possible she thought she might be able to get him interested in her target shooting hobby. Grasping at straws and making up scenarios is not news. It is a shameful attempt to boost ratings covering a tragedy. Regardless, I believe there are other mitigating factors at play. Our society is awash in violence and our children are desensitized to it at a very early age. How many murders are on TV shows every night? How many people are killed playing video games? In movies? I don't own a gun and really don't see any need for assault rifles. But blaming assault rifles is not the answer. This could have been committed with hand guns or hunting rifles or knives. The problem is much deeper and it lives in the very fiber of our global society. For the sake of those wonderful innocent children who died senselessly in Newtown I hope we as a society can find an answer. Lets start by recognizing mental illness as a disease (covered by insurance) and then talk about gun control.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  8. Melissa

    Love watching your show.. and love that you won't even say the killer's name. I think we are talking about a lot of the right things after such a horrible tragedy, gun control, mental health, etc, but why aren't we talking about bullying too and how our kids are treating each other? Bullying has to stop, and I think we need to also address that issue and take action against the kids who engage in it so that we can have real change moving forward.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm |