Vigil service planned next week to mark Newtown anniversary

A vigil service of mourning and remembrance for all those who have fallen victim to gun violence in America is being planned to mark the second anniversary of the Newtown school shooting, which occurred on Dec. 14, 2012.

The service will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11 at the Unitarian Church, 10 Lyons Plains Road, Westport.

The event is being organized by the Unitarian Church in Westport, Newtown Foundation, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Washington National Cathedral.

The program will include opening remarks by the Unitarian Church’s interim senior minister, Roberta Finkelstein; music, candle lighting, and guest speaker Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

The Unitarian Church in Westport is open to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

School shootings continue

According to the organizers, there have been 60,000 American victims of gun violence since December 2012.

They said based on recent statistics, 86 school shootings — including fatal and nonfatal assaults, suicides and unintentional shootings — have occurred since the massacre in Newtown.

In Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman killed 20 first-grade students and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman, a 20-year-old Newtown resident, also killed his mother and himself.