The third anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre is this Monday, and hundreds gathered at Cheesman Park in Denver on Saturday to remember the lives lost.
A young girl read the names of the victims followed by the ringing of a bell at the Cheesman Park pavilion.
Jane Dougherty spoke to the crowd who showed up in the cold and snow. Her sister was killed at Sandy Hook. Mary Sherlach worked as a psychologist for the school for 18 years.
“My heart is still broken … heartbroken over the senseless loss of my sister’s life,” said Dougherty. “My heart breaks with every shooting. My heart breaks for the victims and the families like mine.”
Dougherty spoke to a sea of orange as part of the “Wear Orange” campaign. Why orange? Hunters wear the color in the woods to protect themselves and others – it symbolizes the value of human life.
“Everytown For Gun Safety” and “Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense” sponsored the event. Some people held up signs pushing for harsher gun legislation.
“We don’t need more prayers … we need action,” said Dougherty to a cheering crowd.
The group marched around the park knowing everyone doesn’t share their beliefs. For people like Coni Sanders, whose father was killed during the Columbine shootings, she continues to walk and to fight for what she believes in.
“We will use the love and the fire in our souls lit by this violence to win this war,” she said.
Gun activists say restricting guns isn’t the answer.
Some lawmakers think the focus should be on identifying and helping the nation’s mentally ill. House speaker Paul Ryan recently said that Congress should respond to gun violence by overhauling the country’s mental health system.