As our nation observes the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, residents of Newtown, Conn., quietly marked the day with somber remembrances. Church bells rang out 26 times this morning in the bucolic suburb, once for each of the 20 first-graders and six adults who lost their lives when a maniac opened fire at the school.
No formal remembrance events were planned as Newtown officials asked for privacy during this difficult time. The news media were asked to keep their distance in an effort to keep the anniversary focused on quiet reflection, according to CBS Boston on Dec. 14.
Snow fell lightly as the names of each of the victims were read aloud at St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown. That was just one of several houses of worship that held private services Saturday for a tight-knit community still grieving those deaths.
President Barack Obama marked the anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary with a moment of silence at the White House, according to the Boston Herald.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama first lit 26 votive candles set up on a table in the Map Room, one candle for each of the 20 six and seven-year-old children and six adult teachers and staff members who were killed.
President Obama also touched on the Newtown tragedy in his weekly radio address Saturday morning. He said the nation has not done enough to make its communities safer by keeping dangerous people from getting access to guns, as well as "healing troubled minds".
Gun restrictions the president advocated for in response to the mass-shooting ultimately faced stiff opposition from the National Rifle Association. They eventually stalled in Congress.
The shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed his mother inside their Newtown home on Dec. 14, 2012. He then drove to the Sandy Hook school where he carried out his massacre.
Lanza killed himself as police arrived on the scene.