NEWTOWN, Conn. -- As residents woke up in the frost-covered village of Sandy Hook on Saturday morning, some filed into the warmest place they could think of -- the Sandy Hook Diner on the main street of the hamlet.
Some offered to bring coffee and breakfast to families who lost children in Friday's elementary school shooting here. Others just wanted to see familiar faces and try to make sense of a tragedy that none could explain.
Many of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School just a few blocks away, have likely sat in Sandy Hook Diner and scribbled in the coloring books the waitresses keep under the worn counter, said Jodi Mucherino, 51, who was pouring coffee and delivering orders of pancakes and eggs on Saturday.
The diner prides itself on being a place parents can bring their kids and the servers don't mind if the little ones are screaming or crying or running in circles, she said. The cooks often make pancakes shaped like animals and smiley faces for the kids.
"There are no words," said Mucherino, who attended the Sandy Hook school. "Everybody is a mess."
It is Msgr. Robert Weiss's habit to have breakfast every morning at this diner, and he felt that it was important -- this morning of all mornings -- that he make an appearance and be able to minister to anyone who was grieving. When he sat down and ordered a small stack of pancakes he took off his blue plaid scarf to show his black and white priest's collar.