Bill Luby wasn't planning on attending this morning's funeral service for Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, but as he drove up Main Street in Newtown and saw the crowds gathered outside Trinity Episcopal Church, he just felt that he needed to stop.
So Luby, a resident of Newtown for about four years, pulled over. He leaned against a large tree across from the church and watched in silence as the service took place inside the 142-year-old stone building.
At just 6-years-old, Benjamin Wheeler was one of the 26 victims of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook School. He was one of two sons of David and Francine Wheeler. They moved to Newtown in 2011.
Luby is the father of two young children who are not yet in the Newtown school system.
"I wasn't planning on going to any of the services," he said. "I had to pull over and give my respects to these kids."
Luby paused, and added, "I'm just heartbroken for everybody involved in this."
Just up the street, Fairfield Police Officer Gary Wikman was among the many members of area police departments providing escorts and protection for the funeral services.
"It's an honor for us," he said. "We feel like we're doing something for the people of Sandy Hook and Newtown."
"It does affect you," Wikman, the father of two boys, added. "I think we all are pretty drained from the tragedy. It's not easy to understand."