Noah Pozner, the youngest child killed at the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut last week, was the first to be buried at a ceremony on Monday.
At the funeral, conducted by Rabbi Shaul Praver of Temple Adath Israel — of which the Pozner family are members — Noah’s mother, Veronique, said her six-year-old son was “light and love, mischief and pranks”.
In a speech published by the Associated Press, Ms Pozner spoke of Noah’s dreams of being “a doctor, a soldier, a taco factory manager” and of the four siblings he left behind.
Noah’s uncle, Alexis Haller, said: “If Noah had not been taken from us, he would have become a great man. He would have been a wonderful husband and a loving father. He would have been a backbone of our family for years to come. His loss, and our loss, are deep indeed.”
Family, friends and the community of Temple Adath Israel buried Noah at the B’nai Israel Cemetery in Monroe, Connecticut.
The six-year-old was shot 11 times with a semi-automatic handgun by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, in the worst school shooting in US history. Twenty children and six adults were murdered.
At a multifaith memorial service held in Newtown on Sunday and attended by President Barack Obama, Rabbi Prever sang El Maleh Rachamim, the prayer for the ascension of the souls of the dead.
Speaking to Israel’s Army Radio, Rabbi Praver said he told his congregation: “All of our culture is based on violence and we need to teach the kids about the ways of peace. We need to change everything. There’s too much war, too much violence in our streets.”