A team of chaplains from the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has returned to Charlotte after three weeks of comforting families and others affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The first chaplains arrived in Newtown, Conn. hours after the Dec. 14 shooting that left 28 people dead, including 20 students and six adult staff at Sandy Hook.
In all, 27 crisis-trained chaplains were sent to help. They worked as part of counseling teams, attended funerals for the shooting victims, and accompanied families as they visited memorial sites, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
In addition, a grief response training was held that drew about 200 people to a church in Southbury, Conn., the association said.
These are things that are unspeakable things we wont talk about again because they were that bad, said Al New, who manages the rapid response team. I being a retired first responder, you think about your own children and how it could have been them.
The association said the rapid response team comforted more than 800 people during its three weeks in the area.
Though the memorials have been taken down and our chaplains are heading home, I speak for all of our folks when I say that our hearts will always be with Newtown and the first responders, teachers, children and families there, Jack Munday, the response teams international director said in a news release. NBC Charlotte contributed