By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Antiviolence groups gathered today in center city to remember the 20 children and six adults who were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Connecticut, one year ago tomorrow.

READ MORE: Philadelphia To Begin Offering Children Ages 12-15 Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine On Thursday After CDC's Recommendation

Dozens of portraits, all victims of violence,  were a central feature of today’s observance at Broad Street Ministry.  Ten were those of students gunned down at Sandy Hook last year.

The  powerful and provocative images were commissioned by Judy Ringold, who heads the Lost Dreams on Canvas project.

“It really sends a message that there’s a bad epidemic that we need to respond to,” she said today.

READ MORE: Gasoline Shortage Appears To Be Creeping Into Philadelphia Region As Colonial Pipeline Resumes Operations

Shira Goodman, executive director of Ceasefire Pennsylvania, organized the event to shine a light on an issue that affects us all.

“We wanted to talk about Philadelphia — how Philadelphia is just like Newtown (Connecticut), that for the families of the victims every day is an anniversary, and this anniversary should be bringing us together and motivating us to say ‘No more,’ and what can we do to bring commonsense change that will make us safer,” Goodman said.

Her group wants to see the background check system expanded to cover all sales of guns in Pennsylvania, a mandatory reporting system for when people’s guns go lost or stolen, and stronger sentences for those caught carrying illegal guns.

MORE NEWS: Man Shot 11 Times, Killed In Southwest Philadelphia Quadruple Shooting, Police Say