Day of Remembrance
11:17 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Vigil Thursday in Washington, D.C. Honors Victims of Gun Violence

Inside the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Inside the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Credit Silviadc / Creative Commons

A vigil to honor victims of gun violence takes place this afternoon in Washington, D.C. at Washington National Cathedral. It will begin with the ringing of bells 30 times to mark the 30,000 people killed by guns since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Newtown Action Alliance, which supports stronger gun laws, held an event on Capitol Hill Wednesday in advance of today’s vigil. Tom Campbell traveled there from Danbury. "My dad was killed in NYC in 1965," Campbell said. "He was killed by a neighbor who had an illegal gun and shot him on his way home from work."

Campbell said this week’s gathering offers a chance for anti-gun groups to meet and talk. But, he stressed, this is not a time for lobbying. "This is a day of remembrance. This is the honor-with-action approach. And we humbly appreciate that."

Reverend Henry Brown said he wanted not only to honor those lost in Newtown, but also the victims of gun violence in the city of Hartford. "Over the last 12 years," Brown said, "we have had 380 homicides in Hartford. Three hundred eighty. That’s not even talking about the thousands of people that have been shot. What I’m hoping for is that we can all come to the table on the social issue that’s bigger than all of us."

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said this afternoon’s memorial will have several facets to it. First, it will honor those who have been killed, and provide an outlet for grief and support, "but also [it's] a galvanizing point," Esty said, "to recognize there is much more that unites us than divides us. We are united in this grief, and in righteous anger, and indignation that not enough has happened and we have to do better."