Thursday marked a somber anniversary for Newtown, Connecticut and the entire nation. It was December 14, 2012 when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
26 people were killed. 20 of them were in the first grade.
In Seattle, a large crowd turned out at an event organized by Washington Ceasefire, to honor the Sandy Hook victims and to call for tougher gun laws.
"What we want to do here is honor and commemorate their lives, but equally important, we want to elevate this issue," said Ralph Fascitelli, Washington Ceasefire Board President.
Among those who shared their stories on Thursday evening was Marina Moscovici. She's a Ceasefire board member. She's also a former resident of Newtown.
"We moved here in 2012, we put our house on the market in Newtown, Connecticut," said Moscovici. "We met a lovely couple with a beautiful little girl with sparkling eyes, named Avielle."
She recalled how delighted she was when Avielle's family chose to buy her home, because she knew it would be in good hands.
Then on December 14, 2012, Moscovici learned of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. It's the same school where she once sent her own children to school. It's also the school where six-year-old Avielle was a first grader.
"My phone began to ring and I saw that it was my next door neighbor calling from Newtown. I picked up the phone and said please tell me Avielle is safe," she said. "But she along with 19 of her classmates were killed that day, that morning in Sandy Hook."
After her death, Avielle's family started a foundation in her honor. You can learn more about it here.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson also spoke to the crowd, and encouraged people to reach out directly to their lawmakers.
"It is not right that there are states in our country that have banned the sale of assault weapons and Washington state is not one of them. Does that make any sense to you? No," Ferguson said. "It is not right that there are states in our country that have limited high-capacity magazines to ten rounds and in Washington state there are no limits at all. Does that make any sense to you? It does not have to be that way."
Ferguson said he has already proposed a bill to ban the sale of assault weapons in Washington, and will continue to do so until action is taken.
Thursday's event concluded with a commemorative walk and the ringing of a bell: 26 times, in honor of the 26 Sandy Hook victims.
Many of the families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook shooting have spent the last five years channeling their grief into activism. Together, several families formed a foundation called the Sandy Hook Promise, which seeks to prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide, and accidental discharge.