Bells toll to remember the 26 Newtown victims
Bells tolled 26 times to honor the children and educators killed one year ago in a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School as local churches held memorial services on Saturday and US President Barack Obama observed a moment of silence
The bells rang 26 times at St Rose of Lima church in Newtown beginning at 9:30 a.m. -- the moment the gunman shot his way into the school on December 14, 2012 -- and names of the victims were read over a loudspeaker. Connecticut’s governor had asked for bells to ring across Connecticut and directed that flags be lowered to half-staff.
In Washington, the president and first lady Michelle Obama lit 26 votive candles set up on a table in the White House Map Room -- one each for the 20 children and six educators.
Obama said the nation hadn’t done enough to make its communities safer by keeping dangerous people from getting guns and healing troubled minds. Gun restrictions backed by the president in response to the shooting faced stiff opposition and ultimately stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
“We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily. 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 said.