Newtown Victims Remembered in Duluth

Updated: 12/14/2013 6:13 PM
Created: 12/14/2013 5:26 PM
By: Travis Dill

On the year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Shooting dozens gathered in Duluth to remember the 26 victims killed and push for gun control.

More than 30 people gathered at Myers-Wilkins Elementary to share the grief that touched the nation after the shooting in Newtown Connecticut last year. Many also pushed for gun control reform despite bills failing in Washington earlier this year.

Words could not describe the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary so vigil attendees read the names of the victims. A bell rung out after name until the 20 children and six teachers were remembered.

“We have to keep remembering the victims or we are just go on thinking this is life, and it doesn't have to be that way,” Mary Streufert said.

Strufert works with the Protect MN/Brady Campaign because she lost her daughter to gun violence. She hopes this day of remembrance will reignite the gun control debate.

Streufert said background checks are not required for private gun sales and at gun shows. She wants that to change.

“It's just checking to see before the person buys a gun that they can handle the responsibility,” Streufert said.

But the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bill to expand background checks in April. The National Rifle Association released a statement shortly after writing, “Expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools.”

But the shooting did impact those who work in schools.

“Anybody who works with children, and especially if you work in a school, it couldn't help but touch your heart with, 'What if this had been at our school?'” Kathy Bogen said.

Bogen directs after-school activities at Myers-Wilkins. She strives for the children to be inclusive and watch out for trouble classmates.

“And rather than leaving them out or gossiping about them or getting into a bullying mood teach them how to include and then how to go to an adult for help immediately,” Bogen said.

She said that is one step in preventing future tragedies even if gun laws remain unchanged. Bogen said hundreds of students take part in after-school activities at Myers-Wilkins.

Front Page

  • Northlanders Share Thoughts About Pope Francis On His Second Easter

    From the Vatican to a rural parish in Duluth, many people of many faiths celebrated Easter Sunday. Eyewitness News talked to Catholics in the Northland about Pope Francis and his affect on the church a year after being elected.

  • Wisconsin DNR Assessing Winter Deer Kill

    Wisconsin wildlife officials are using road-kill and radio-tracking data to assess the harsh winter's effect on the state's deer herd. Department of Natural Resources staffers are looking for 10 carcasses in every county so they can check a number of biological signs, such as fat stores and pregnancy. They're also is closely watching survival rates of more than 200 deer with radio collars in the northern forest and eastern farmland areas of the state.  

  • Victim Identified in Fatal Cass County Crash

    The Minnesota State Patrol said one person was killed and two others seriously injured in a three-vehicle accident in Cass County. The accident happened on Highway 64 just before 2 p.m. on Saturday.

  • I-35 Lanes Reduced Starting Monday Near Cloquet for Bridge Repair

    Traffic may be moving slower than normal travelling south on Interstate 35 near Cloquet starting Monday. MnDOT says a stretch from County Rd. 3 to Highway 33 will be reduced to a single lane for about two weeks. 

  • Minnesota Runners Head to Boston in Unity, Tribute

    More than 600 Minnesota marathoners will line up for the start of the Boston Marathon this year, including 212 who ran last year and say they're going back to finish what they started.