PITTSBURGH (CBSNewYork) – The first funerals for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting were held Tuesday.
Four of the 11 people killed Saturday were laid to rest.
They were targeted, police say, because they were Jewish.
President Donald Trump traveled to Pittsburgh to meet with first responders and community leaders.
CBS2’s Ali Bauman is in Pittsburgh with more on how New Yorkers and others are showing their support for a community in mourning.
People have traveled from all across the country to be in Pittsburgh this week. They have the same, simple message: the Tree of Life synagogue does not stand alone.
Dangling from police barricades around the synagogue are stars decorated with all different colors, messages and designs.
“These particular stars were painted Sunday morning in New York by children and parents at the congregation Rodeph Shalom on the Upper West Side,” Manhattan resident James Parness told Bauman.
Parness and his family deliver what they call “stars of hope” to towns struck by tragedy. They drove from Manhattan to Pittsburgh Monday night.
“When I heard the news Saturday, it was terrifying,” said Manhattan resident Rochelle Hanson. “I said ‘I live in America. This was never supposed to happen in America.'”
“There comes a point where people feel they’re forgotten and alone, but they’ll walk through the neighborhood and see these stars on poles and hanging on trees, and they’ll remember there are good people who took a few moments to share their love through art,” Parness said.
The art from New York joins piles of flowers, candles and handwritten cards placed at the memorials by both visitors and lifelong residents.
“My heart is aching for this,” said Pittsburgh resident Eileen Berger. “I think people needed to come together, and that’s why we’re getting this support from around the country, around the world, and especially from Israel.”
“It hit so close to home. I just can’t believe all this is going on, with loving people coming to pay their respects. That just surprised me,” said Pittsburgh resident David Paris. He would often see his friend Cecil Rosenthal at cardiac rehab, before the 59-year-old was killed in the massacre.
“I really feel bad going back to rehab, not seeing him there. I’d go three times a week. He was always there. The nurses loved him, and it hurt me more than I realized,” Paris said.
Even in the darkest hour of grief, sometimes the kindness of strangers can provide a little light.
“When people can get together, even though it’s around a terrible thing, I think maybe we’re headed in the right direction,” said Pittsburgh resident Eileen Berger.
One woman who lives just down the street from the synagogue told Bauman that even though she’s surprised how many people traveled there to mourn, she’s not surprised by the comfort she felt this week.