Wednesday marked four years since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Lawmakers and communities across the state are remembering the victims.
The governor announced on Tuesday that U.S. and state flags in Connecticut will remain at half-staff on Wednesday.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said that since no flag should fly higher than the U.S. flag, all other flags, including state, municipal, corporate or otherwise, should also be lowered.
Flags have been at half-staff in accordance with a proclamation from President Barack Obama as a tribute to veteran, astronaut and former Sen. John Glenn, who passed away last week.
A determination has not been made as to when the flags should return to full-staff.
On Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman stormed into the elementary school in Newtown and killed 26 students and staff.
The town itself said it is planning to mark the day with a moment of silence. First Selectman Pat Llodra said town employees have been asked to stop working between 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., when the shooting took place.
While it does not hold an official memorial, a number of prayer services are planned.
President Barack Obama issued a statement on Wednesday:Four years ago today twenty beautiful children and six heroic educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.Today, we remember them - the staff and teachers who responded to the danger in their hallways with strength and resolve, guiding the children to safety, even giving their lives to protect the children in their care. We remember the first responders who rushed to the scene to help, holding their own shock at bay because others needed them more. And we remember the children who held each other in the face of unconscionable evil; who, even as they've grown up in the shadow of this tragedy, will grow up loved and cared for more fiercely than ever.Two days after that horror, I traveled to Sandy Hook to tell the people of Newtown that they were not alone - that we shared their grief, that they inspired us, and that for them, we would try to change. That's all still true. We still share their grief. We're still inspired by the survivors and the families who have worked to make a difference. And we've tried to change. My administration has taken action to tighten the background check system and make it more efficient, strengthen enforcement of existing laws, boost gun safety technology, and help more Americans suffering with mental illness get the help they need. Still, Congress failed to pass gun safety reforms, including universal background checks that had the bipartisan support of the vast majority of Americans, even as more mass shootings have riddled America in the years since. But I still believe that there are enough good people on both sides of this issue who care more about protecting our kids than defending effortless access to guns for those who would do our kids harm. I still believe we have the courage to change.
Sen. Chris Murphy issued a statement on Wednesday morning:“Today is a hard day. It's a day of crippling sadness. And a day of impossible, unanswerable questions. I have had the honor over the past four years to become close with so many of the parents and family members of those who were lost that day. Their strength gives me strength. But there is no power that can make the pain visited upon us four years ago fade away. “There’s nothing we can do that will make it right. Our world fractured four years ago and the pieces cannot ever be reassembled the same. But we can promise to be kinder to one another, to hug our loved ones and friends a little tighter, and reach out to those who may need a helping hand. And we can commit to never, ever giving up in the fight to fix our broken laws and make our country safer. No other family should have to endure the pain that too many in Sandy Hook are suffering today, and I won't rest until our schools and our streets are truly safe."
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the pain and grief still feel fresh:"So too is our undiminished determination to make the world better and safer in their memory. We stood together that afternoon at the firehouse-- and we continue to stand with Newtown, a community that confronted unspeakable tragedy with unimaginable courage and strength. We must never cease striving to stop gun violence, inspired by Newtown's spirit. Since that horrific day more than 120,000 have perished due to gun violence, and Congress continues to be complicit by its inaction. Undeterred and undiscouraged, we can honor the 26 beautiful children and educators lost that day by resolving to do more and do better.”
Rep. Elizabeth Esty issued a plea for Congress to do better in terms of ending gun violence:“Today we mark the fourth anniversary of when 20 schoolchildren and six brave educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. And in that time, millions of you have joined with me and my colleagues in Congress and with folks all across America to say that we need to do better. We can and we must work to end the scourge of gun violence in this country."
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