Residents of the close-knit community have been braving cold, rainy weather and waiting for up to five hours to pay their respects to the victims of last week's shooting, Bittman said.
"It's an assembly line of wakes and funerals," she said. "We can't even figure out which ones to go to, there are so many."
On Wednesday, a police honor guard saluted Soto, a first-grade teacher who died trying to shield her students from bullets, as bagpipers played outside the Lordship Community Church in Stratford, Connecticut. The church set up more than 100 chairs outside the building to accommodate the overflow of people paying their respects.
"You were an angel to those 19 children you protected, to the 19 families and the community," Soto's sister Jillian said at the service.
Soto, 27, wanted to be a teacher since she was 3 years old.
She "instinctively went into action when a monster came into her classroom and tried to protect the kids that she loved so much," cousin James Wiltsie said. "We just want the public to know that Vicki was a hero."
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan traveled to Newtown to pay his respects to the family of school principal Dawn Hochsprung and "to hear from educators on how we can help," he said on Twitter.
Hochsprung's family had calling hours scheduled for Wednesday. Her funeral will be private on Thursday and held outside of Connecticut.
Several students were honored in funerals Wednesday:
-- Seven-year-old Daniel Barden, whose "fearless" pursuit of happiness earned him ripped jeans. Taking after his musician dad, Daniel formed a band with his brother and sister, playing the drums. "He embodied everything that is wholesome and innocent in the world," Daniel's family said.
-- Six-year-old Caroline Previdi's relatives were saying their final goodbyes Wednesday. Even after her death, 6-year-old Caroline continued to touch the lives of others. A Facebook page called "RIP Caroline Previdi -- Sandy Hook Massacre Victim" had more than 5,400 "likes" on Wednesday morning.
-- Six-year-old Charlotte Bacon also had a burial scheduled for Wednesday. Charlotte was a beaming bundle of energy under bright red curls.
Black hearses with caskets will continue driving through Newtown for days to come.
Some cities across the country are planning a moment of silence Friday morning, marking a week since the massacre.