2013-12-13 Media Highlights (The National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims Issue)
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SPECIAL ISSUE: The National Vigil
Photo: Matt McClain-Pool / Getty Images
Families and friends of the 26 people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School gathered Thursday in the nation's capital to honor their loved ones through a solemn vigil and volunteer work nearly one year after the Newtown massacre. Relatives of other gun violence victims from cities across the country joined the Connecticut group on a two-day trip to Washington, D.C., to highlight the annual deaths of tens of thousands of people by firearms. Their visit was capped by a vigil at the National Cathedral to remember victims of gun violence nationwide. Before the service began, the cathedral's bell rang for three minutes to represent the lives claimed by firearms every year. More than 700 well-wishers, including family of those slain at Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, 2012, filled the cathedral, with many wearing green ribbons to symbolize the school.
USA TODAY via Detroit Free Press
For the past year, Neil Heslin has spoken before the Connecticut legislature and the U.S. Congress to advocate for stricter gun laws. Heslin's 6-year-old son, Jesse, was among the 20 students and six adults who were killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 last year. But on Thursday, as hundreds gathered at the Washington National Cathedral for the Newtown Foundation's National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence, all he was looking for was some solace. "I found peace here when I came for Easter, and hopefully I can find that peace again today," Heslin said. "I'm not here for any political reason. I'm just here to honor Jesse."
One year after the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., parents of the young victims are struggling to make sense from a senseless act of violence. Hari Sreenivasan talks to two families who lost children in the shooting about their advocacy to prevent more tragic murders with the Sandy Hook Promise.
NPR All Things Considered
One year ago this Saturday, a gunman killed 26 people at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. At the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, people gathered Thursday to remember those who have been killed by gun violence since that attack. A bell tolled for three minutes in memory of roughly 30,000 people who have lost their lives over the past year. We hear some of the service.
The Washington Post
Newtown and Aurora in 2012. The Empire State Building in 1997. South Capitol Street in 2010. Loved ones of victims of prominent and less-known shootings lighted candles, prayed, sang and called for legislative action Thursday during a vigil at Washington National Cathedral aimed at stemming gun violence.
Religion News Service
The crowd hushed, the lights dimmed and the National Cathedral’s bourdon bell chimed for three minutes — each minute to commemorate 10,000 of the 30,000 lives lost to gun violence in the U.S. last year.
As a choir sang the lilting, poignant hymn "My Beautiful Town,'' hundreds of people lit candles in the darkened nave of the National Cathedral on Thursday to mark the national vigil against gun violence on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown.
Photo: Charles Dharapak, AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Los Angeles Times via The Hartford Courant
Solemn moments of prayer and the singing of hymns contrasted with calls for political action during a vigil at the Washington National Cathedral on Thursday, almost a year after 20 children and six adults were gunned down at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The sermons and speeches during the vigil aimed to console, as well as to demand action on gun-control laws. “A year ago next Sunday I said from this pulpit behind me that the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby,” said the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral. “I said that then, and I say it now.”
The Christian Science Monitor
Newtown, Conn., families who became gun control activists after the horror of last December are today part of a revitalized movement. Their big push for reform of federal gun laws failed, but the picture in the states is more mixed.
Advocates from Newtown and across the country gathered at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Thursday for a vigil honoring those lost in the Dec. 14 shootings almost one year ago and calling for steps to end gun violence in the future. The Newtown Action Alliance were among those in attendance, teaming with the cathedral to host the event. The group traveled by bus to the cathedral, meeting with victims of other mass shootings from across the country upon arrival.
The Seattle Times
As America marks the Newtown anniversary Saturday, state gun-control and gun-rights advocates are gearing up for the most intense battle here in more than a decade. And the sponsors of the dueling 2014 initiatives are both using the day to highlight their cause.