By Shiryn Ghermezian, EnStars | Dec 21, 2012 10:41 AM EST
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Websites went offline, flag were flown half staff and church bells rang 26 times on Friday morning as Americans time to remember the 20 children and six adults that died exactly one week ago in a school shooting in Newton, Conn.
Alaska, Massachusetts and South Carolina are among states that declared a moment of silence for 9:30 a.m., which is the hour one week ago that Adam Lanza forced his way into an elementary school and shot 20 students, six adults and then himself. Twenty-six times the bells tolled Friday in Newtown, Conn., for the victims slayed in the Dec. 14 attack and some rang a 27th bell, for Lanza's mother whom he killed before making his way to the school last Friday.
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The Stockbridge First United Methodist Church in Georgia rang its bell 27 times to include Nancy Lanza.
"I think for us, she's a victim, too," said Rev. Jody Ray, the pastor, cited by NBC News. "We probably should have included the young man who committed the crime. At the end of the day, people are dead and in response to tragedy, we want to remember all those who were involved...We're not going to stand in judgment."
In Newtown, people visited the makeshift memorials at the town Christmas tree and at the firehouse where survivors were brought after the shooting, the report added. At the same time, the din of New York's stock exchanges was muted.
St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Bexley, Ohio, around 600 miles from Newtown, commemorated the one-week mark with morning fast and prayer.
Funeral services,vigils, and memorials, one attended by President Barack Obama, all took place this week for the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims. Friday also marks the day that the National Rifle Association holds their first press conference since the attack, which streams live online.
NRA sources told Fox News that the association's conference may be a way for it to "push back" against gun-control advocates who, since the shooting, have launched a campaign to pressure Congress and the Obama administration into enacting stricter gun and rifle regulations. Obama announced on Wednesday a new task force, led by Vice President Biden, to examine policy proposals that can help reduce gun violence.
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