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Another Day of Funerals for Scottish School’s Massacre Victims

March 20, 1996

DUNBLANE, Scotland (AP) _ A fragment of poetry. A bedtime story. A childhood hymn. Grieving Dunblane buried four more young victims of a primary school massacre Wednesday. All were 5 years old.

They included a girl whose love of gym classes made her go to school despite a rash, and another whose mother worked at the hospital that treated victims of the shooting a week ago. A third, Mhairi McBeath, helped comfort her family when her father, a university lecturer, died in October.

``Heartbroken and for a time subdued, we nevertheless saw in her a wisdom and understanding beyond her years,″ the Rev. Colin McIntosh told several hundred mourners at Dunblane’s cathedral.

``She seemed to know just the right thing to say to (her mother) Isabel, the right thing to do.″ Mrs. McBeath gave birth to a daughter in December.

The service included an extract from one of Mhairi’s favorite bedtime stories, Dr. Seuss’ ``Green Eggs and Ham.″

Victoria Clydesdale’s mother wanted her to stay home from school March 13 because of her rash.

``But Victoria insisted on attending her classes; she hated missing gym lessons,″ the Rev. William Gilmour told 300 mourners at the Lecropt church.

Thomas Hamilton, a 43-year-old boy’s club leader, burst into the gym class with four handguns and killed 16 children and their teacher before fatally shooting himself.

The congregation sang the childhood hymn ``All Things Bright and Beautiful″ and Gilmour read a poem written by one of Victoria’s relatives, which said in part:

``Nobody can understand why he did it, he had no motive, he can offer no excuse, no excuse for the pain and misery he has now caused.

``She was as harmless as a butterfly and as beautiful as a flower.

``The flower has died but the sweet fragrance will live forever.″

Hamilton’s body was cremated secretly Tuesday.

``In an attempt to minimize further distress no more information will be provided,″ said police Superintendent Louis Munn.

Four hundred people thronged St. Blane’s Church for the funeral of Emily Morton, whose mother Kathryn, a cytologist, was at work at nearby Stirling Royal Infirmary when victims were brought in. Twelve children and two other teachers were wounded in the massacre.

At John Petrie’s funeral in the overflowing Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family, Canon Basil O’Sullivan recalled a Sunday school lesson on the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes. The teacher asked what was in the basket besides fish.

``And our little friend John put up his hand _ `chips,‴ O’Sullivan said.

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