President Barack Obama paid tribute Saturday to the "six dedicated school workers and 20 beautiful children" who were slain in Newtown a year ago today, saying the U.S. hasn't done enough to make the country safer.
"We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily," Obama said in his weekly radio address. "We have to do more to heal troubled minds. We have to do everything we can to protect our children from harm and make them feel loved, and valued, and cared for."
The administration took a number of executive orders aimed at stemming gun violence in the wake of the shooting, but failed to convince Congress to tighten restrictions. And Obama in his remarks, signaled that Congress is unlikely to act without public pressure.
"We can’t lose sight of the fact that real change won’t come from Washington," he said. "It will come the way it’s always come – from you. From the American people."
Obama and first lady Michelle Obama marked the one-year anniversary with a candle-lighting memorial in the Map Room at the White House.
Twenty-six candles, one for each child and teacher lost at Sandy Hook, were arranged on a table. The Obamas each took a pre-lit candle and lit the 26 candles.
When they finished, they took a step back, and facing the table, bowed their heads for a moment of silence. For about a minute, the first couple stood in silent remembrance. The president then put his arm around the first lady's waist and led her down the hall and out of the room at about 9:31. The entire memorial lasted about two-and-a-half minutes.