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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A somberness rested over Rittenhouse Square, as dozens gathered to mourn the loss of 26 people whose lives were cut short at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“We are here to ensure they are never forgotten and to raise awareness about our country’s epidemic of gun violence,” said one woman who attended the vigil.

Dec. 14, 2012, is a painful day in our country’s history and some living in Philadelphia now remember living through that moment in Connecticut.

“I was in ninth grade six years ago when my principal sent us into lockdown. Symphony of ringtones and vibrations began followed by a burst of rumors in front of and behind me.  One moment we were watching a documentary on Mohammed, and the next CNN ’s live coverage in Newtown,” said Brandon Robbins-Cartagena, a student at La Salle University.

Brandon was just 12 miles away from Sandy Hook when the shooter opened fire. He now attends La Salle University and believes more needs to be done to curve the gun violence.

“It’s time to challenge funding and it’s time to challenge money because this country is led by money,” said Brandon.

Others like Roz Pichardo is a survivor of an attempted murder and says the change needs to come from our legislators.

“I think that gun laws need to change. There’s a lot of things in legislation that need to be on the board that’s not. People need to learn how to speak up and speak out against gun violence,” said Pichardo.

Chimes for those who have lost their lives and a renewed hope for others who are hoping to be the change.

Brandon tells CBS3 he is in the process of starting a Students Demand Action group on the La Salle campus.