Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Queen Lays Bouquet at Scottish School; Britain Falls Silent

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Queen Lays Bouquet at Scottish School; Britain Falls Silent

Article excerpt

Queen Elizabeth II came with flowers and sympathy, and a nation paused in silence Sunday to mourn 16 murdered kindergartners and their teacher.

"She obviously felt for us," said Dr. Jim Herbert, a local physician who was one of the first on the scene Wednesday after Thomas Hamilton of nearby Stirling opened fire on a gym class. Hamilton later killed himself.

The queen and her daughter, Princess Anne, arrived after the town marked a somber and tearful Mother's Day at church. She placed a bouquet at the school gate - one tribute among thousands - with a simple card: "With deepest sympathy, Elizabeth R."

The queen visited the school, the cathedral and the hospital in Stirling where some of the 12 wounded children are being treated. Two teachers also were wounded.

Craig Paterson, a ginger-haired 11-year-old, told the queen that bullets had smashed into his classroom, next to the gym. He said the class didn't hesitate when their teacher shouted, "Everybody duck now!"

"Thank goodness they did what they were told," Craig's mother, Elizabeth Paterson, quoted the queen as saying.

Among the people waiting outside the school when the queen laid her flowers was Jeanne Brown, 50, who had come from Glasgow with her mother and her son to place their own bouquet. "When you put your flowers down," Jeanne Brown said, "you can really feel your heart swelling up."

A Minute's Silence

A minute's silence was marked across Britain at 9:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. St. Louis time) - four days, almost to the minute, since the massacre. It was observed in streets, shops and churches and by broadcasters. At London's Heathrow Airport and other big airports, planes due to depart delayed starting up engines, and passengers stood in silence at the four terminals.

Television screens silently rolled smiling pictures of the 11 girls and five boys slain along with teacher, Gwenne Mayor.

In Dunblane itself, the silence stretched out for a full five minutes, Pedestrians stopped in their tracks and parents clutched their young children tightly as they heard the bell toll the half-hour from the Dunblane (Church of England) Cathedral's medieval tower. …

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