Updated: Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012, 11:33 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012, 11:32 PM EST
NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) -- People from all across the country are coming to Connecticut to help in this time of tragedy. News 8 spoke with people who made a long trip to let Newtown know they're not alone.
There is a giant tent off of Exit 10 with a huge American flag. It was put there by a man who had a granddaughter that was inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School when the shots rang out.
She is alive but he says he didn't know what to do, so he hung this flag and from there, a church developed underneath it that has helped thousands of people from around the country.
"She was in second grade. She knew some of the children, she heard some of the gunshots, the noise. We are going to live through it for a while for sure," Kevin Yacko of Newtown said.
It is still too raw to talk about, so Kevin didn't talk, but acted, acted like Americans do. He brought a huge flag from his son's homecoming from Iraq. He hung it with tears in his eyes off of Exit 10 in Newtown.
"We just started on Sunday. I put the flag up and people brought the tent and people brought the teddy bears and the candles and set it up and just continued on," Yacko said.
It has become a place of power, for the babysitting who lost her precious 6-year-old in the school, to the complete strangers who live in Ohio and Illinois.
Strangers who as soon as they heard, got into the car and drove to Newtown because they wanted to help.
"Where are you from," News 8's Bob Wilson asked.
"Chicago," Abbi Grace said.
"What compelled you to get int the car and just drive here," News 8's Wilson asked.
"Compassion i think. Knowing that there is a struggle here and you never know the pillars in the community who are typically the support, what they would be going through so to bring strength from the outside and somebody to pray with them," Grace said.
Abbi works with children back home. She has been working with the children in the community, handing out bears, giving high fives and encouraging them to write notes to their friends. Others came because words wouldn't do.
"Maybe we just needed to come out here, to pray and support people here. Certainly not to intrude but just to let people know they are loved," Chris Lester of Ohio said.
So what started out as a grandfather with a flag, has turned into a church where thousands have come to grieve, a place of comfort, a place where strangers and townspeople can come and share in the pain. Where they can cry quietly and leave messages for children who will never read them here on earth.
"This wasn't me, this just appeared. We just put the flag up for Newtown and the chapel was born and people came. A lot of people from out of town here. We have raised a lot of money that is going to the St. Rose Church up the hill. It just keeps growing," Yacko said.