Tampa, Florida -- People throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties marked the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson of First United Church of Tampa read the names of at least 17 children killed in Florida the past year.
Other speakers provided details of personal losses. Carol Lowe spoke of her son, Paulette Walker spoke about her nephew, Kevin Bowles shared feelings about the death of his young son only three months ago. Les Miller, a member of the Hillsborough County Commission, spoke of the impact of gun violence on his family and career after his son was victimized.
At four locations across the Tampa Bay area people will gather to remember the 26 children and adults killed in Newtown as well as discuss the need for new national legislation to reduce gun violence.
Other Grant Park speakers were Dorethea Edgecomb of the Hillsborough School Board; Tampa City Council's Frank Reddick; Tampa Police Lt. Ron McMullen; and Maggie Langier of Moms Demand Action, who spoke about her organization's support of OFA's efforts.
At Lakeland's Munn Park, dozens of citizens heard from Mayor Gow Fields; Rev. Russell Myer, Executive Director of the Florida Council of Churches; Lakeland Police Lt. Eric Harper; and Chaplain Linda Spaulding of the Levite Ministry in Lakeland. The event was co-sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.
A crowd of concerned Zephyrhills residents gathered at Zephyr Park to hear from a number of presenters, including former Pasco County Health Department Director Marc Yacht. He shared ideas about the importance of recognizing the role of public health in reducing gun violence.
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