By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4) – On the eve of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting anniversary, dozens of members of a faith-based group lined the streets in Denver.

vigil 3 5 Years After Sandy Hook Mass Shooting, Denverites Hold Vigil

(credit: CBS)

Their goal: to end gun violence.

“We’ve lived it. We’ve lived Columbine, Aurora Theater, Arapahoe, Walmart,” Alana Smart of the group Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence said.

vigil 1 5 Years After Sandy Hook Mass Shooting, Denverites Hold Vigil

(credit: CBS)

Smart co-founded the organization following the tragedy in Newtown. She was unaware at the time that her congregation would experience their own loss shortly after.

“Reality has a way of smacking you in the face,” she said. “In 2014 our long time beloved custodian Jose Diaz was killed in his backyard, at a barbecue.”

vigil 4 5 Years After Sandy Hook Mass Shooting, Denverites Hold Vigil

(credit: CBS)

The group had members standing on every corner at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and East Hampden Avenue on Wednesday night. Rev. Jeannnie Shero with First Universalist church of Denver was among them.

“When they drive by they see there are people that feel like they do and that can inspire people to pay more attention,” she said.

vigil 2 5 Years After Sandy Hook Mass Shooting, Denverites Hold Vigil

(credit: CBS)

Those that were not waiving signs held candles in honor of the lives lost at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012, and everyone taken by gun violence.

“We are lifting up a light in the night hoping to create some change, a more sane world, a more balanced and just world, a kinder world, and together we can do that,” Shero said.

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

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