BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Friday marked six years since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed 26 lives.
20 first-graders and six teachers were shot and killed by a former student before he took his own life.
The anniversary made headlines earlier Friday after the school was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat.
Authorities found the threat “not credible” but the school was evacuated and students were sent home for the day.
Later Friday night, the victims were honored at a vigil in Howard County.
One former resident of Newtown- who now lives in Howard County- said it’s salt on a still healing wound.
“My heart goes out to my family and my friends and everybody who is in and from Newtown,” said Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Howard County Women Against Violence.
Beaudoin-Schwartz went to school at Sandy Hook. Though she has lived in Maryland for the last 30 years, her family and friends are still in the small town.
It’s why she’s one of the founding members of Howard County Women Against Violence, one of the several community groups that gathered at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center to remember all gun violence victims.
“I’m very honored to be a part of this celebration that is really giving a voice to honor and both victims and survivors of gun violence,” Beaudoin-Schwartz said.
Among the speakers, Denise Reid, whose son Tavon was shot and killed in 2006.
Her message honed in on learning to forgive.
“Sometimes during your trials, your journey, your loss, it feels like you’re the only one with the weight on your shoulders so when we come together it helps restore hope,” Reid said.
Gun violence prevention advocates said their hope is by working with religious leaders, police, doctors and members of communities, they can end the cycle of violence that continues to claim lives.
“We all have to come together if we’re going to solve this problem to make America safe from gun violence,” said Nicole Berger, Howard County Moms Demand Action.