NEWTOWN -- The carolers who walked over to the Sandy Hook Firehouse on Monday formed a semicircle and began singing "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful."
As they have since the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the visitors were there -- pilgrims coming to bear witness before the growing shrines of flowers and notes, votive candles and white teddy bears.
Carlos Arredondo, of Jamaica Plain, Mass., brought 26 crosses with him.
Arredondo is a peace activist. In 2004, his son Alexander, a U.S. Marine, was killed in Iraq. On Dec. 19, 2011, his son Brian -- hoping to join the Marines -- committed suicide.
Arredondo built a memorial for the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shootings in Jamaica Plain. When it was disassembled there he brought it to Sandy Hook.
"I am a grieving parent, " he said. "The grieving that is here. ...It's going to take a long time."
Anthony Martinez wept as he stood in front of the growing memorial in the village center. He is from Kendall, Fla. He was with his family in Staten Island for Christmas. The day before, they decided to drive to Sandy Hook.
"It's devastating, just devastating," he said.
Frank Rellosa is from Boston. He and his wife, Erin, and their dog Miles, were on their way south to New Jersey and Christmas with Rellosa's family. But along the way, they stopped in Sandy Hook.
"It's important to be here," said Rellosa, who has seen the beach towns in New Jersey destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.
Caroline Burt, who has lived in Los Angeles for the past 11 years, has come home to Meriden for the holidays. She drove to Newtown on Tuesday. "This has been felt around the world," she said. "I just felt I had to pay my respects."
That the shootings, which killed 20 children and six adults, have moved people in unforeseen ways can be seen at the memorials cropping up in Sandy Hook and all over town.
There are 26 Christmas stockings hanging from the black iron fence of the Sandy Hook Cemetery. There's a platter of 26 Christmas cookies -- cut in the shape of angels, with white frosting -- left by visitors from Mount Airy, Md.
There are notes from area towns -- Bridgewater and Ridgefield, Danbury and Bethel.
There are posters from Florida and the Philippines.
The children from Barbara Bush Elementary School in Mesa, Ariz., sent a manila envelope filled with cards from the students. From Texas, there's the message, "Texas Loves Y'all."
Don Sumple was visiting the memorials for the second time. Sumple, who lives in Torrington, grew up here. He went to Sandy Hook Elementary School from 1967-1972.
"My mother taught school there for 25 years," he said. "This place is part of what I am."
And it's a place that's been transformed from a sleepy village near Lake Lillinonah to a shrine.
"It's hard to think that something so horrible has to happen to bring everybody together," Sumple said.