NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — The 20 children and six educators killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School were remembered Monday on the eighth anniversary of the massacre during an online vigil hosted by gun violence prevention advocates.
The victims' names were read aloud, as were the names of more than 150 people killed by gun violence within the past year in Connecticut. Advocates called for stricter gun laws to prevent mass shootings, during the vigil hosted by Connecticut Against Gun Violence via video conference because of the coronavirus pandemic.
No official observances were planned in Newtown, as has been the practice every year. A few religious services and private gatherings were scheduled. A local Roman Catholic church, St. Rose of Lima, had to forgo its regular anniversary service because of the pandemic and planned two smaller services, including a private evening Mass.
“It is unthinkable that it’s been eight years," U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, said during the vigil. “Those little boys and girls would be starting high school this year. Those parents, those young women, those educators inside of those classrooms would have had eight fantastic years of personal growth time with friends, maybe marriages, maybe children of their own.
“It’s been eight years and yet the pain feels so unbelievably fresh. The loss is no less,” he said.
All U.S. and Connecticut flags were ordered to half-staff Monday by Gov. Ned Lamont.