State reflects on 6 years since Sandy Hook shooting

Eyewitness News 3

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut is remembering the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, six years after it happened.

Twenty-six students and staff at the school were killed when a gunman stormed into the building.

Ceremonies were scheduled across the state to honor the victims.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said flags, which are already a half-staff in honor of former President George H. W. Bush, will remain that way for Sandy Hook.

“The unthinkable tragedy that occurred on this day will forever have an impact – not only here in Connecticut, but throughout the entire nation," Malloy said. "The heartache we feel for those who lives were taken all too soon will never leave, and our sympathy for each and every family member who lost a loved one will forever remain. I think about these innocent, young children and generous, kindhearted educators every single day. I will always keep them in my prayers."

Malloy said that too often people focus on what divides them. After the shooting, he said they witnessed an infinite flood of love pour into Newtown from around the world.

"And in the aftermath of subsequent and all-too-frequent senseless acts of gun violence that have plagued communities across America, it is ever more critical that this expression of compassion and humanity for one another endure," he said.

“Today is an awful day," said Sen. Chris Murphy. "I’ll think a lot about my youngest son, who went off to his first grade classroom this morning, as I remember the precious children and brave educators whose lives were unimaginably taken six years ago. I’ve had the honor of representing, and becoming friends with, many of the families of the victims. Nothing we do can ever bring those kids back, but we should be inspired by Newtown’s efforts to make the world a kinder, more loving place. We can reach out to one another and help those in need."

Murphy said he was delivering meals to families in New Haven on Friday as a small tribute.

He said he hoped everyone takes some time to do their own act of kindness.

“We will never stop remembering, and honoring, and fighting for the lives senseless lost six years ago," he said. "We have to keep going. For me, that means I will never give up trying to change our broken gun laws to keep our kids safe from gun violence. A national movement for stronger gun laws started six years ago today, and today I feel more confident than ever before that Congress will listen and act on changing our gun laws next year. We would not be here without the voices of so many of the family members from Newtown who want us to honor their loved ones with action."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal marked the day by volunteering at the House of Bread soup kitchen in Hartford.

“Six years ago, we prayed and grieved in the wake of senseless, horrific tragedy—and Congress turned its back," Blumenthal said. "Each and every day, Congress is complicit in the deaths of 96 Americans lost to gun violence through inexcusable and unconscionable inaction. This day never gets easier— not one day, not one year, not six years later—but this year is different. America saw the strength and bravery of the Sandy Hook families and so many other courageous victims and they took their outrage to the ballot box. There is concrete evidence that the vicelike grip of the NRA is weakening, and we have a real opportunity now to pass commonsense gun violence reforms. Red flags laws, better gun storage, universal background checks, and bans on assault weapons, bump stocks and ghost guns all save lives. Connecticut is leading the nation in showing that many of these reforms are workable and effective, but we are still at the mercy of states with weaker protections. This is the year we must muster the resolve necessary to turn our rhetoric into results."