Bells tolled in Newtown, Connecticut Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of a shooting massacre that killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The bells rang 26 times at St. Rose of Lima Church, where funerals for eight of the children were held, to honor each of the victims. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked for houses of worship around the state to ring their bells at 9:30 a.m., the moment Adam Lanza shot his way into the school on December 14, 2012. Gov. Malloy also called for flags to be lowered to half-staff around the state.
In his radio address Saturday, President Obama called on the nation to help prevent future violence. "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." He planned to observe a moment of silence at the White House.
Lanza killed 20 children and six educators before taking his own life. He had killed his mother inside their Newtown home before driving to the school.
Newtown officials have called for privacy and asked town residents to honor the victims through acts of service and kindness. At a joint appearance during the week in Newtown, some of the victims' families urged people to find ways to give back to their own communities.
"In this way, we hope that some small measure of good may be returned to the world," said JoAnn Bacon, whose 6-year-old daughter Charlotte was killed at Sandy Hook.
The town had no formal events planned for Saturday and officials have discouraged the media from coming to Newtown. "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," said First Selectman Pat Llodra.