WASHINGTON (WTNH) — Gun violence survivors gathered in Washington, D.C. Wednesday night for the ninth annual national vigil for all victims of gun violence.

Each year since the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, survivors of gun violence have held this vigil to commemorate the more than 100 people a day in the United States who die from gun violence and call for an end to it.

Maggie LaBanca and Camille Paradis, both survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting, spoke at the vigil. They were young children back then in elementary school and say at times it has seemed impossible to move on.

“Even though it has been almost nine years since I endured that day, everything has stayed with me so clearly. The trauma never went away and I still feel sad all the time that I’m here and they’re not,” LaBanca said.

Paradis remembers the day through flashes of memories.

“Police are here. My hands are on the shoulders of my friend as we stumble out the side door, walking to the fire station,” Paradis said. “My life had changed in ways I didn’t comprehend.”

Another speaker was Guilford’s Kristin Song, the mother of 15-year-old Ethan Song who tragically died after accidentally shooting himself in 2018 when he and a friend got a hold of an unlocked gun.

“The gun owner, Dan Markle, stored his three handguns and bullets in a shoebox,” Song said. “Dan Markle’s reckless storage of his deadly weapons led to my son’s death.”

She and Ethan’s father have been pushing federal lawmakers to pass a national safe gun storage law.

Leonard Jahad, executive director of the Connecticut Community Violence Intervention Program in New Haven, spoke as well.

“Is this the best we got? I think not,” Jahad said. “We can do better.”

The survivors said their wish is someday there won’t need to be a vigil like this.

The event was sponsored by the Newtown Action Alliance Foundation and more than 100 partners in the gun violence prevention community. It was live-streamed on Newtown Action Alliance’s Facebook page.