Today marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and 6 teachers were all killed. President Obama's called on Americans to remember the tragedy, and keep working to prevent future violence, in his weekly address. "We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily," he said. "We have to do more to heal troubled minds. We have to do everything we can to protect our children from harm and make them feel loved, and valued, and cared for."
Obama and the First Lady also observed a moment of silence and lit candles in the White House to honor the tragedy.
The news media has respected the wishes of Newtown officials, who have called for privacy and asked town residents to honor the victims through acts of service and kindness. "In this way, we hope that some small measure of good may be returned to the world," JoAnn Bacon, whose 6-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was killed at Sandy Hook.
"We are trying to respect the world's interest in us, but we also have a real need in our community to gain a foothold," First Selectman Pat Llodra said. CNN, CBS and NBC said they would cover the anniversary but not broadcast from the town today.
"One year ago today, our hearts were broken. None of us will ever forget it. The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut was more than any family, any community or any nation should ever have to bear," said Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio in a statement. "The searing purpose we felt in that moment still guides us--and it will win out over the unreason that has frustrated progress over these past twelve months. As we reflect today and send our thoughts and prayers to the families of Newtown, we rededicate ourselves to protecting our people from senseless violence."
Governor Cuomo also addressed the shooting, and talked about NY's response:
The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook was a horrific wake-up call that we must act on the issue of gun violence before another child’s future is wiped away. All across the country, elected officials, parents and community leaders stood up together to call on their State and Federal governments to pass stronger laws that protect our neighborhoods from dangerous weapons. Here in New York, we passed the NY SAFE Act, comprised of common sense reforms to keep guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill, ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and raise the penalty for killing a first responder on duty.
You can read about teacher Kaitlin Roig-Bellis, whose quick-thinking saved the lives of 15 Newtown first-graders; more about the families and town members who live with the memory of that day; an essay from one person who visited his hometown of Newtown recently to hear people's stories; and see photos of all the victims.