CENTER CITY (WTXF) - December 14, 2012, a lone gunman stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. On this somber anniversary, ceremonies are taking place across the country, remembering 20 first-graders and 6 teachers who died. In Philadelphia, a Vigil to End the Violence was held in Rittenhouse Square.
One by one, the names of the 20 first-graders and 6 educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary 6 years ago were read aloud.
Brandon Robbins was in school back then, a few miles from the shooting.
"I was in 9th grade 6 years ago when my principal sent us into lockdown," Robbins recalled.
He says not much has changed. Someone just 10 days ago was shot near his home.
"Gun violence is everywhere," Robbins stated.
So many other horrific accounts. Jamie Amo survived the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. She was 15-years-old.
"I was standing in the cafeteria when the shooting started. I was in the building for the entire time. 188 shots were fired," Amo said.
Roz Pichardo's brother and sister were killed in separate gun violence incidents, saying she herself survived a murder attempt.
"It's frustrating to be here on so many levels of gun violence in my family. But, I don't want this to be a thing that people come to once a year, but continue to fight," Pichardo said.
10th grader Simone goes to school in Philly. She says more than half of her 10th grade classmates know someone lost to gun violence.
"I walk around smiling every day, but deep inside, I'm scared. I'm scared that I might be next," Simone explained.
The group wants the state and federal government to step up.
"Harrisburg and DC have become ugly places, where legislative paralysis is accepted, and where we lost sight of the fact that since Sandy Hook, we have lost over 200,000 American citizens. So, we have to act," said Jeff Dempsey.
"The U.S. House, I promise you, will bring up background check legislation in this first 100 days," Madeleine Dean, Representative-Elect of the 4th District, said.
"In 2018, we got the domestic violence bill passed. You know, that was Democrats and Republicans working together. So, it can be done," Jaime Bedard, with Moms Demand Action, said.