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Posted: 10:17 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2013
By Erica Bryant
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team returned from the Connecticut town where a gunman killed 20 children and six educators.
Chaplain Al New is still shaken by what he saw and heard at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“All of us who were there, we refer to it as unspeakable, that we will never speak of again,” New said.
New was part of the rapid response team that arrived on the ground in Newtown the same day as the massacre.
New said even the most seasoned first responders were not prepared for the gruesome scene filled with children's lifeless bodies.
They ministered to law enforcement and even mental health counselors.
“It was hard on the state police that were in the school, they needed to talk it out, our goal is to help them release that. The worst thing they could do is keep it in,” New said.
Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords met with survivors of the shooting and their families Friday in private.
Giffords was critically wounded in a mass shooting two years ago in Tucson that killed six.
While this latest incident has sparked cries for more gun control, New said he returned home with one clear message.
“It was a matter of hug your children, wife, husband. Stay as close to the Lord as you can, that was the takeaway,” New said.
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