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Somber remembrances for Sandy Hook anniversary

NEW YORK/NEWTOWN--One of the 6-year-olds was so sweet his teacher said he should have come to school wrapped in a bow.

Another loved princess tea parties, Justin Bieber and trips to New York. Still another, who rode horses, was hoping for a cowgirl hat and boots for Christmas.

One year later, the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, still evokes raw emotion and sadness. On Saturday, a day after another school shooting, this time at a Colorado high school where one student was wounded, the United States paused to remember the tragedy and revisit the contentious issue of guns in America.

On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, shot his way into the school he had once attended and murdered 20 first-graders, all aged 6 and 7, and six adults. Before heading to the school, Lanza killed his mother, who had legally purchased the guns he used that day.

Newtown officials said the town wanted to be left alone on the anniversary. Some of the victims' families have encouraged those moved by the shooting to mark the day by performing an act of kindness in their own communities.

In Newtown, at the Washington National Cathedral in the nation's capital and elsewhere around the country, bells tolled in remembrance of those who died.

The bells rang 26 times at St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown beginning at 9:30 a.m. — the moment the gunman shot his way into the school on Dec. 14, 2012 — and names of the victims were read over a loudspeaker. Connecticut's governor had asked for bells to ring across the state and directed that flags be lowered to half-staff.

In Washington, the president and first lady Michelle Obama lit 26 votive candles set up on a table in the White House Map Room and then marked the anniversary with a moment of silence.

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A makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Connecticut on Saturday, Dec. 14, the one-year anniversary of the shootings.

(AP)

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