3rd ANNIVERSARY OF NEWTOWN SHOOTINGS INSPIRES NATIONAL VIGILS WITH OVER 350 EVENTS NATIONWIDE

For Immediate Release

Contact: John Kelley
jkelley@newtownaction.org
917-679-6475

December 9, 2015

3rd ANNIVERSARY OF NEWTOWN SHOOTINGS INSPIRES NATIONAL VIGILS WITH OVER 350 EVENTS NATIONWIDE

Newtown, CT- The Newtown Foundation and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence announced today that over 350 faith and gun violence prevention organizations in 39 states, as well as Mexico and China, will hold events commemorating the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy and honoring all victims and survivors of gun violence.

The 3rd Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence, sponsored by the Newtown Foundation in partnership with Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, will be held on Thursday, December 9th, at 7 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The National Vigil will lead nationwide vigils and events to #EndGunViolence taking place between December 10th and 14th.

Participants in the vigil at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church include Valerie Jarrett, Special Advisor to President Obama, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, Representative Elizabeth Esty, gun violence prevention advocates, and
travelers from 18 states who are survivors and families impacted by gun violence.

The vigils will honor not only the victims and families of the Sandy Hook shooting, which took place on December 14, 2012, but all who have fallen victim to the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in America. Since the Sandy Hook tragedy, over 90,000 Americans have been shot and killed by guns; over 210,000 have been shot and injured; and there have been over 1,000 mass shooting incidents where four or more people have been shot at one time.

“The Sandy Hook tragedy ignited a national conversation on gun violence prevention and we have been working for the last three years to shine a light on the epidemic of gun violence in our nation,” said Po Murray, Chairman, Newtown Action Alliance and the Newtown Foundation. “We are bringing the 3rd Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence to Capitol Hill this year hoping that the testimonies from the families and survivors of gun violence will change the hearts and minds of Congressional leaders who need to do more to keep all Americans safe.”

Murray continued, “It is heartwarming to see so many Americans joining our efforts to honor the lives lost to gun violence. We hope that these vigils and events inspire a nationwide call to action to end this ongoing tragedy. By commemorating all victims, as well as their families and friends, we can focus attention not only on the horrific consequences of gun violence, but also on what we can do to prevent them.”

“Faiths United To Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of over 50 national faith denominations and organizations, strongly supports the Vigils happening around the country with the Newtown Foundation,” said Vincent DeMarco, National Coordinator of Faiths United. “Through these hundreds of events nationwide, we will spread the word that there are effective tools to prevent gun violence and save lives, such as handgun purchaser licensing.” (see www.taleoftwostates.com)

The Reverend Rebecca Justice Schunior said: “St. Mark’s is proud to host the 3rd Annual Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence. The continued reality of preventable deaths due to our collective inability to change laws is an outrage. We are in awe of those individuals who courageously share their painful stories of pain and loss so that we might change. It is a privilege to welcome them into our church.”
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The Newtown Foundation is a Newtown-based, all volunteer organization formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Our mission is “To provide comfort, education, scholarship and other support and resources to people and communities impacted by, and living or growing up among or in the aftermath, of violence in American society; and to help them lead the way toward positive cultural change over the long term.” Learn more about the Newtown Foundation at http://newtownaction.org/newtown-foundation/.

Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence is a diverse coalition of more than 50 denominations and faith-based organizations united by the call of our faiths to confront America’s gun violence epidemic and to rally support for policies that reduce death and injury from gunfire. Learn more about Faiths United at http://faithsunited.org.

St Mark’s Episcopal Church is an open community, welcoming people wherever they are on their faith journey. We celebrate the gifts of God that empower us to engage boldly in the struggles of life and care for others with love, justice and compassion. Learn more about St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at http://www.stmarks.net.