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Biden, Connecticut leaders remember Sandy Hook shooting on 9th anniversary

Congressional leaders called on the Senate to take up gun violence legislation in memory of the victims.

CONNECTICUT, USA — President Joe Biden joined thousands of people across the nation marking nine years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy with a renewed pledge to take action for victims of all mass shootings.

In a video message from the White House, the president addressed the families of the victims and said the shooting – in which 20 children and six educators were killed – was one of his saddest days in office. He said legislation to curb gun violence is long overdue.

“Everything changed that morning for you, and the nation was shocked,” he said. “For me and for Barack (Obama), the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was one of the saddest days we were in office those eight years, but as we got to know you, and I got to know so many of you personally, I spoke to every one of your families and found, I found hope in your strength, as you turn pain into purpose to change the laws and the culture around gun violence.”

RELATED: 'I still cry every day' | Mother of Sandy Hook victim reflects on eve of 9th anniversary of tragedy

Biden went on to say that his budget proposal calls for doubling the funding for gun violence prevention research, including examining gun violence as a public health threat.

Local leaders joined the president in honoring and remembering the victims.

Rep. John Larson (CT-01) said in a statement that “our hearts continue to go out to their families and loved ones,” and chastised the Senate for failing to take up any legislation to address gun violence.

“It’s time to let the voices of Sandy Hook and their families be heard,” Larson’s statement said in part. “It’s time to do what we take the oath of office to do and vote. Vote the will of the public and take steps to end the gun violence epidemic in this nation.”

Gov. Ned Lamont issued a statement Monday as he directed U.S. and State of Connecticut flags to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday.

“The tragedy that occurred that day nine years ago is one of the worst in Connecticut history, but in its aftermath, we witnessed an outpouring of love, humanity, and kindness from over the entire world, spreading a message of hope that we must proactively work to protect,” he said. “We will never forget the twenty innocent children and six devoted educators whose lives were taken all too soon that terrible morning.”

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Sen. Chris Murphy said his heart aches today for the 26 people who died that December day and for the “families who have had to live with the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence.”

“But my heart is also buoyed by examples of love and perseverance,” he said. “After this tragedy, we saw the entire nation come together to rally behind Newtown. And we saw families who lost loved ones turn their grief into action, spearheading initiatives to prevent future tragedies. Their strength is nothing short of awe-inspiring.”

He continued: “It’s these people who fuel my work to pass common-sense gun safety laws and initiatives to reduce gun violence in our cities. This is a movement supported by the vast majority of Americans, and we’re not stopping our fight to save lives at the federal, state, or local level. We keep up the work to honor the memories of those we lost at Sandy Hook and in shootings across the country. Love and perseverance will win the day.”

RELATED: Newtown Public Schools going remote on 9th anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz released this statement on Monday:

“Nine years later, we remember the lives of the 20 young souls and the six incredible educators whose lives were taken far too soon. I wish the families and friends of those who lost loved ones that day comfort and peace. It is up to us to continue the legacy of those lives lost, through acts of kindness, generosity, and love. May the Newtown community be surrounded by love and support today and every day, as the hearts of our Connecticut communities are with them.”

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