Sandy Hook Shooting Remembered Quietly, Solemnly

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A memorial to victims of last year's Sandy Hook elementary school victims is seen in front of a house in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 13, 2013. Families asked media outlets to stay away in respect of their need to be alone to mark the year anniversary.
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Residents and town officials of Newton, Conn. have politely asked the news trucks to stay away during this one-year marking of the horrible assault that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

As Nicole Hockley, mother of six-year-old Dylan who was killed by a gunman that day, explained to NBC's Kate Snow, "It's just another day. It's just another day without Dylan. There's no need to mark it because every day we miss him."

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Nonetheless, some have tried to overlay the unspeakable tragedy of that day with a more positive legacy. Newtown residents have called for "acts of kindness" as their tribute to those lost.

Kyle Lyddy, 26, founder of the We Are Newtown movement, explained the movement encourages gestures -- large and small -- to honor the memory of people like Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed while trying to stop the shooter. He described to Aljazeera America how a Newtown General Store customer said a man bought him breakfast, handed him a piece of paper bearing the name of a girl who died at the school and asked him to "pass it on."

President Obama, meanwhile, marked the solemn anniversary by calling for tighter gun control and expanded mental health care -- issues that several parents of Newtown victims have made their cause. In the wake of the second most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history, Congress failed to pass tougher gun laws.

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"We haven't yet done enough to make our communities and our country safer," the president said in his weekly address. "We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily. We have to do more to heal troubled minds."

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