Following a private funeral service at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Katonah, dozens of residents bundled up and gathered along Route 100 in Somers Thursday morning to silently pay their respects to Anne Marie Murphy, a John F. Kennedy High School graduate and Sandy Hook School teacher.
"My granddaughter was in that school," shared Pauline, who was among those standing at attention as Murphy's funeral procession traveled north along the road. "That's why I am here."
Like many in attendance, Pauline did not know Murphy personally, but was touched by her heroic actions last Friday, when she was fatally wounded during the mass shooting at the Newtown, CT, elementary school.
While Pauline's 7-year-old granddaughter was not hurt during the incident, the grandmother said she is worried about the impressionable child's future.
Writing to residents to inform them about today's gathering, Town of Somers Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy said, "We have all been deeply shaken by the horrific events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown last week."
She noted Anne Marie Murphy's efforts to "valiantly...shield the children from harm with her own body."
As the funeral procession traveled from the Katonah church to St. Joseph’s Cemetery, a typically busy road became silent—eyes lingering on the hearse flanked a procession of New York State Police cars and the vehicles of the beloved teacher's friends and family.
Prior to her funeral service today, Murphy's brother-in-law Thomas Newman read the following statement to the press:
"Anne Marie's families—the Murphys and the McGowans [Dr. Hugh McGowan and Alice McGowan are her parents]—pray for all the families touched so terribly, that God may help these feelings of great pain and grief pass quickly, that they be replaced with only happy thoughts and joyous memories of those we have lost. Thank you and God bless."
Patch Editor Lisa Buchman contributed to this report.