CHICAGO (CBS)—Friday marks six years since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took the lives of 26 victims—most of them children.
Hundreds gathered at a church on the South Side of Chicago Friday night to remember the anniversary and loved ones lost to gun violence.
Inside Saint Paul and the Redeemer church in Kenwood, politicians like Governor-Elect J.B. Pritzker joined hundreds of others Friday, including heartbroken parents who remembered their children lost in Chicago’s gun violence epidemic.
In the center of the church, decorated for Christmas, mothers read a list of hundreds of names of gun violence victims—most of them young people.
The mothers called for action, asking that other moms can avoid the pain of losing a child.
“When a mother loses a child they go to a dark place,” said Gwen Baxter, whose son was killed in 2003. “They are never the same again.”
Another mom who gathered at the church Friday, Alice Norris, said her daughter was an innocent bystander when she was killed in 1993.
“She was sprayed with bullets,” Norris said. “I saw all the bullets and thought, ‘why would someone have a gun that could do that?’”
Elizabeth Ramirez, whose son was killed in 2011, said more needs to be done to prevent gun violence.
For some parents, the pain of losing a child runs even deeper. Delphine Cherry’s daughter was killed by a stray bullet, and then 20 years later her adult son was murdered.
“I had to bury two children,” Cherry said. “People ask me how you do it. I tell them ‘strong’ is the only thing I have left.”