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Hundreds At National Cathedral Remember Newtown Victims, Push For Gun Control

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Family members of shooting victims hold candles at a vigil for victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and other victims of gun violence at the National Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence at the National Cathedral in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. The one year anniversary of the Newtown, Conn. shootings is December 14.
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Family members of shooting victims hold candles at a vigil for victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and other victims of gun violence at the National Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence at the National Cathedral in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. The one year anniversary of the Newtown, Conn. shootings is December 14.

One year after the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., hundreds gathered at the Washington National Cathedral to remember the 26 victims who were killed on December 14 of last year. And despite failed attempts to tighten gun laws in Congress, advocates say the fight is not over.

Families of victims, and victims themselves crowded the front of the National Cathedral.

"My name is Gilles Rousseau. My daughter Lauren was a 30-year-old teacher at Sandy Hook."

"I'm Tom Sullivan, the father of Alex Sullivan, who was murdered celebrating his 27th birthday in the Aurora theater on July 20th, 2012."

"My name is Colin Goddard. Six years ago I survived the shooting at Virginia Tech, where 32 of us were killed and 25 others were injured. I still have three bullets in pieces throughout my body and a metal rod in my leg."

It's a sort of grim club that comes together at moments like this, a club that Nardyne Jefferies joined three years ago.

"My daughter was murdered on March 30, 2010 here in Washington D.C. She was one of nine shot," she shared. Jefferies became an activist, pushing for stronger gun laws — and watched with sadness as each year more mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters joined the ranks.

"That is tragic. But I think on the flip side we grow as a coalition, and we grow stronger," she said.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton compared the fight over gun laws to the civil rights and women s suffrage movements.

"Do not forget that only those who persevere prevail on any issue in the Congress. So do not be discouraged," she said.

Meanwhile, Norton and other Democrats are fighting back efforts to loosen gun laws in the District — just this week, a bill was introduced in the House that supporters say would restore Second Amendment rights in the nation's capital.

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