16 December 2012 1:20 PM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

This year, 26 families - and an innumerable count of mourning loved ones and strangers alike - will spend the holidays in the shadow of a national tragedy. An anonymous North Carolina donor contributed 26 Christmas trees - one for each of the 20 children and six adults killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday - for a special tribute. Related Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Was Loved By KidsVolunteers helping out at the town's fire station decorated the 5-ft. trees, which were lined up in the direction of the school on Saturday. "We felt the need to come here with our children, »

- Alison Schwartz

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