Vigils held across the state for Texas school shooting victims

Cities, towns, and groups held vigils across Connecticut for the victims of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:06 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 11:31 PM EDT
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CONNECTICUT. (WFSB) - Cities, towns, and groups held vigils across Connecticut for the victims of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting.

The Newtown Action Alliance along with Moms Demand Action were among the groups that gathered at the state capitol, calling for change.

In Simsbury, 60 people came together. Some were religious figures and law makers, some were parents, they all came to reflect on the tragedy.

Kim Danillowicz is a 5th grade paraprofessional.

She said going into class today was very tough. “To go in this morning and see our kids cry. See them know they are not safe in school. Looking to us for answers. I know that everyone here tonight has the same feeling that I do. That we have to help our kids.”

The community is pleading for stricter gun laws nationwide.

After Sandy Hook, Connecticut banned assault style weapons and large ammunition magazines. Law makers say no one is safe until they are banned across the country.

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said, “don’t tell us ordinary citizens need weapons of mass destruction, AR-15 rifles. If you use the second amendment as an excuse than you are complicit in the murders of our children.”

The recent attack hits close to home for many of in the state, more so for the Sandy Hook survivors. Survivors like Mary Ann Jacob.

“I was huddled in a closet with 18 9-year-olds and three of my colleagues that day. When gunfire shattered Sandy Hook School. Yesterday I was right back in that closet,” said Jacob.

In Bloomfield, another vigil was held. This one was planned a while ago for those who were lost to COVID. But due to the recent shooting in Buffalo, N.Y. and Uvalde, Texas, the vigil expanded.

Outside the Bloomfield Congressional Church, residents gathered.

On the lawn, lights represented those lost.

Each string represented 10,000 people lost to COVID.

Each larger light, for someone lost in the Buffalo shooting.

And for Texas, a single, lone light.

“We have this light this one lone star to represent the tragedy from the lone star state,” said Pastor Sean Fisher.

Prayers were said for the students, educators, and families.

“This is a devastating event particularly in Connecticut where we have survivor of the Sandy Hook shooting, we have parents who have lost children, we have educators who lost colleagues,” said Joslyn Delancey, Vice President of the Connecticut Education Association (CEA).

It was a difficult day for many in the state, especially teachers.

“A lot of them had to will themselves into the buildings today, to put a smile on their face, and be warm and welcoming and secure,” said Delancey. “It’s a devastating blow to us as a teaching community.”

Other the years, teachers have become first responders. They helped children through the lockdown, and the pandemic. Now they have to help them navigate through another tragedy.

Delancey says more needs to be done. Local school districts need to help students and teachers cope.

“We really need, desperately, in our schools not only to give kids coping skills and mechanisms but also teachers’ tools to support children who might be in crisis,” said Delancey.

Several school districts increased their security today, and many will continue through out the week.