A year ago today, a gunman took the lives of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including 20 children. Today, the town of Newtown, Connecticut is holding a day of private remembrance, the most public event being the ringing of church bells across the state to mark the lives taken.

"If we build it, they will come," E. Patricia Llodra, Newtown's first selectman, told the New York Times. "So we have to not build it."

The elementary school was torn down earlier this year, leaving just a rectangular plot where it once stood. The town has decided against any other memorials or remembrances for now, to deter visitors to the town.

"It's in the back of everybody's mind all the time. It's like a gray day in November, always," a resident told the Times.

President Obama and the first lady lit candles (pictured above) in remembrance of the victims.