Vigils, prayer services to mark 3 years since Sandy Hook shootin - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Vigils, prayer services to mark 3 years since Sandy Hook shooting

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St. Ann's church in Old Lyme held a service in honor of the Sandy Hook victims on Monday. (WFSB photo) St. Ann's church in Old Lyme held a service in honor of the Sandy Hook victims on Monday. (WFSB photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Three years ago Monday, a quiet December morning transformed into one of the darkest days in Connecticut history.

Now, dozens of candlelight vigils and prayer services are set in honor of the 26 students and staff killed during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

One service was held at St. Ann's Church in Old Lyme Monday at noon. The names of the victims were read and the bell was rung in their honor.

Police said there will be an increased presence at Newtown school on Monday. They said it was not the result of any direct threats to the town or schools.

They said residents can expect to see officers driving through parking lots and around streets surrounding schools throughout the day.

The department also asked that people give the town privacy. Despite a Facebook post from police suggesting otherwise, WFSB does not have any crews in Newtown.

This year will mark the first that students are in school, including those who attend the Victoria Soto School in Stratford.

Soto was among the six educators who lost their lives.

The school opened its doors for the first time in August.

Meanwhile, several lawmakers at the state and national level are expressing their solidarity with the families of the victims.

"Our bond with Newtown is as resolute as ever,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. “We are with the families and community as strongly as we were three years ago on this tragic day. Their pain and grief are real and powerful, but so are their courage and resilience in the face of unspeakable horror."

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that all U.S. and Connecticut flags will fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset.

Malloy continues to call for stricter gun laws in the state.

Last Thursday, he announced an executive order that would ban people on government watch lists from buying firearms.

Blumenthal agreed and stated that action is needed.

"I have respect beyond words for the personal bravery and strength of the survivors in Newtown and for the tens of thousands of others who shoulder such pain and loss each day across our nation," Blumenthal said. "We will never forget the loved ones lost, and I will never abandon this cause. We must honor with action today and every day."

To read all the statements from the Connecticut Congressional Delegation, click here

A rally to end gun violence will be held outside of the National Rifle Association's headquarters in Virginia.

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