UVALDE, Texas - The agony over guns, the questions about a more quick police response, and the bewilderment over school shootings pales under the sheer weight of human grief.
"Don't cry, I'm so sorry," said a Robb Elementary School teacher who stood in front of her students ready to die if necessary. "My kids were so scared. I got in front of them, I had to protect my children."
With 21 crosses for the lost children and teachers killed in yet another mass shooting , memorials, like so many others, now spring up in Uvalde, Texas.
Since Tuesday's massacre at Robb Elementary School, community members and visitors have been paying their respects.
Many brought flowers, and were filled with emotion. Some kneeled in prayer.
Chaplain Lino Hernandez of Del Rio, Texas, said "...it's very heartbreaking."
Parents reflected on their kids and their frustrations.
"It comforts me a little to think that she'd be the one that helps her friends in need," said Javier Cazares whose daughter died.
Parent Doug Soga said, "It’s sadness, it’s a bit of anger, that something like this constantly happens. It’s frustration that nothing seems to be done about it."
The parent of one survivor said their daughter saved her own life by coating herself in blood.
Words of comfort brought little comfort to the devastated town, a place where it should be totally safe to raise kids.
"Our hearts are broken. But you know what I also know and I also believe God's heart is broken," said Temple Baptist Church Pastor Tony Gruben.
"I ask God that you be with those who have lost loved ones. May you comfort them, Father, as they mourn," said another pastor.
The 17 people injured in the mass shooting are likely to get a visit from the President when he comes to Uvalde on Sunday.
There is another crushingly sad note. The brokenhearted husband of one of the teachers killed on Tuesday, died today from a heart attack.