NEWTOWN, Connecticut (WABC) -- On December 14, 2012, 20 first graders and six educators were senselessly killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A gunman went inside the school and opened fire. When the shooting was over, Newtown, Connecticut, would never be the same.
In the decade since, many of the Sandy Hook survivors and victims' families have become tireless advocates for gun control, even as we've seen multiple other school shootings.
The Parkland shooting happened almost five years ago and the recent Uvalde shooting was just months ago.
On Wednesday, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont ordered flags at half staff and classes were canceled at some schools.
Families who lost loved ones and those who experienced the horror of the day firsthand honored the 26 victims as a community on Wednesday night.
For each of the victims, the Christmas tree at the altar of Saint Rose of Lima church received an angel ornament.
The bishop of Bridgeport prayed for peace and consolation for their loved ones with wounds that may never heal and for the other young students of Sandy Hook Elementary.
"Who survived the tragic events of this day ten years ago," Bishop Frank Caggiano said. "They are in their later teen years on the cusp of becoming young adults. They saw unspeakable horror, someone no one of any age should see or be part of."
As neighbors stopped by Newtown's new memorial to the victims, the former first selectwoman who led the community through the tragedy, was among those reflecting.
"It's been, it's a long journey for parents, a loss that doesn't get any easier, you continue to relive the absence of a loved one," former Newtown First Selectwoman Patricia Llodra said.
Most people can remember where they were when they heard the news of Sandy Hook, a decade ago. It was a dark day for the U.S. and among the worst tragedies Connecticut has ever seen.
A permanent tribute to the victims now stands near the site of the former Sandy Hook school, which has since been raised.
It is a tree surrounded by a pool of water, encased in granite that is etched with each of the victim's names.
Some of the former students who were in that school are finding the strength to speak out. Liv Doscher was in the third grade at the time.
"I feel like the further and further we move away from it, the more I feel I'm scrambling to, just remember," Doscher said. "So I really just think that the way I'm going to cope with that is just making, you know, through people kind of making sure I'm staying close to my best friend, making sure when I get home, when I come home for breaks, that I meet up with old teachers that I'm close with."
In the last 10 years, Connecticut has passed several gun reform measures, including a ban on assault weapons and mandatory background checks.
Other states have followed suit, but since Sandy Hook, the nation has seen nearly 1,000 more school shootings.
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