Conn. Mourns Family Killed in France
Nov. 08, 2002
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NORTH BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Notes and personal mementos adorn Emily Amore's locker at North Branford Intermediate School. Flags are at half-staff at Totoket Valley Elementary where Michael Amore was a third-grader and his mother was a substitute teacher.
Bouquets of flowers form an impromptu memorial in front of the Amore family's house.
Throughout the town Thursday there was an outpouring of grief for five members of the Amore family who were killed in a train fire in France.
``This is a small, close town,'' said North Branford Intermediate School Principal Joanne Flynn. ``People know each other. Students know everyone. It's a very sympathetic town, and we count on that to comfort each other.''
Salvatore ``Michael'' Amore, 43; his wife, Jeanne Meyers Amore, 43; their children, Emily, 12, and Michael, 8; and his mother, Susanne, 72, died early Wednesday when a fire broke out in a sleeping car. Seven other travelers also were killed.
The family was traveling to Germany from Paris, where they revisited the site where Salvatore proposed to Jeanne more than 16 years ago.
In Nancy, France, investigators searched through the charred remains Thursday as relatives arrived to claim their loved ones' bodies.
Mayor Joanne Wentworth asked that all flags in town remain at half-staff until next week.
``I can't still believe it,'' Wentworth said.
Memorial services were expected to be held early next week, but arrangements were incomplete, Wentworth said.
Anna Marie Amore of Orange, Salvatore Amore's sister-in-law, said there were no words to describe the loss. Her husband, Darrin, and another brother of Salvatore Amore's, Rollin, went to Paris to identify and bring home the bodies.
The family went on vacation to visit Susanne Amore's relatives in Germany, where she grew up.
``My mother-in-law was an angel,'' Anna Marie Amore said of Susanne. ``She meant everything to our family. For her to die like this is devastating.''
Jeanne Meyers Amore grew up in East Haven, according to her uncle, William Gray.
``We're all in a kind of shock,'' Gray said.
Teachers and members of the schools' crisis intervention teams were available all day Thursday for students at both schools. They were at Totoket on Thursday night for parents who needed help in discussing the deaths with their children or among themselves.
``Around the students, we want the teachers to be business as usual,'' said Totoket Principal Nancy Brittingham. ``The children want to know what happened. We want them to be able to talk about it, and tell us how they feel.''