MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – Bells rang 26 times Saturday in Newtown, Conn., once for each one of the children and educators killed one year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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No public event was held in Newtown, but the president and first lady held a moment of silence in Washington, D.C.

They then lit 26 candles in remembrance of the 20 first graders and six teachers and administrators who died.

People in cities across the country gathered to honor the victims and their families.

In Minneapolis, a vigil was held at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Jane Kay, of Minnesota’s Chapter of Moms Demand Action, opened the service.

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“Today we remember them and their family and loved ones, and we send them our love and support on this significant and difficult day,” Kay said.

A small crowd of moms, dads and grandparents came together to remember the victims and pray for their families.

St. Paul-resident Marit Brock and her daughter Anna, a first grader, lead the group in a somber tribute, ringing a bell 26 times in memory of each of the victims.

“Those were beautiful lives taken from us,” Brock said.

Moms Demand Action organized 50 events in more than 35 states to honor victims of gun violence.

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