On December 14, 2012, 26 people were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty of the victims were children.
Exactly six years later, Americans are looking back on the tragedy that took the lives of young children and what has, and hasn’t, changed since.
Nicole Hockley had two children at Sandy Hook at the time. One survived, one didn’t. On Twitter Friday, the mother, now the managing director of the Sandy Hook Promise, memorialized her son. “Good night, my beautiful butterfly, Dylan.”
I loved him from his first breath.
I’ll grieve him till my last.
Good night, my beautiful butterfly, Dylan. 03/08/06-12/14/12 pic.twitter.com/RFqsmDcYdw
— Nicole Hockley (@NicoleHockley) December 13, 2018
Delaney Tarr, a Parkland school shooting survivor and March For Our Lives member, posted a picture with all the victims on Twitter. “We share their pain,” she wrote. “We share their grief.”
Friday also marks ten months since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Today will be 6 years since the shooting at Sandy Hook.
It will also be 10 months since the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
We share their pain, we share their grief.
They should be here today. But they’re not.
So today, we honor them. Honor them with action. pic.twitter.com/kUS9UUhCsU
— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) December 14, 2018
Co-founder of March For Our Lives Matt Deitsch mentioned that the elementary school kids killed six years ago would’ve all been in middle school by now and the ones that survived are “still practicing active shooter drills.”
The kids from Sandy Hook should be in middle school today.
The kids that survived are in middle school… still practicing active shooter drills.
— Matt Deitsch (@MattxRed) December 14, 2018
Politicians that advocate for gun control also shared their condolences and promises for change. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that she thought the tragedy at Sandy Hook would be “as low as we go” and that laws would change.
Six years ago today, when 20 children and 6 teachers were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I thought this is it, this is as low as we go. This is when we finally start to address the epidemic of gun violence. Sadly, that wasn’t the case and shootings have continued.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) December 14, 2018
She later added: “We haven’t forgotten the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook, nor will we. We must pass commonsense gun laws to reduce gun violence and help prevent mass shootings from happening. The absolute least we owe those kids is real gun reform.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also weighed in on the anniversary.
Six years after 26 beautiful souls were murdered at #SandyHook, our hearts still break for the families of those lost. In the years since, we have been inspired by the strength they have shown as they have fought to ensure other families are spared the pain they’ve experienced.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 14, 2018
Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a victim of gun violence herself, wrote about the “unspeakable” tragedy, saying, “No matter how many years pass, my heart breaks. No matter how many years pass, my life will remain devoted to this cause.”
They were children. It was unspeakable. And then our leaders did nothing—so we all stood up.
Today marks 6 years since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. No matter how many years pass, my heart breaks. No matter how many years pass, my life will remain devoted to this cause. pic.twitter.com/E7qGT5uGc6
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) December 14, 2018
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the anniversary on her Twitter as well.
No child should have to fear violence in their school. It should have been true for Sandy Hook six years ago. It should be true today. Let's keep working until it's reality.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 14, 2018
Earlier this week, gun reform group Sandy Hook Promise released a video about noticing the signs of a possible school shooting. The shocking PSA has over 80,000 views and has been shared by politicians and activists alike.
Watch the video below:
Sometimes you need to see things from a different point of view to understand the problem. Watch our powerful new film, “Point of View” and know the warning signs of gun violence at https://t.co/NCTkUchDfK pic.twitter.com/fDFW1WRtjc
— Sandy Hook Promise (@sandyhook) December 10, 2018
While years have passed since the mass shooting, fear entered the small Connecticut town once more today. A bomb threat was sent to Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning. According to the Huffington Post, the school was evacuated and students and teachers were sent home for the rest of the day. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphey tweeted “my heart is breaking” at the news.