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On Sixth Anniversary Of The Virginia Tech Massacre, Families, Survivors Reflect On Bombings | News

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On Sixth Anniversary Of The Virginia Tech Massacre, Families, Survivors Reflect On Bombings

WASHINGTON (WUSA) --  It is the 6th anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre and Lily Habtu sometimes feels like it was yesterday. 

She almost died that day. Many of her classmates did.

Habtu was shot in the wrist and jaw and a bullet is still lodged one millimeter from her brain stem too dangerous to remove.  Her recovery physically and mentally continues.  She's already had several reconstruction surgeries on her jaw and face and wears braces on her teeth to help correct the damage there.   

She's been filled with survivor's guilt at times.  All this, the guilt, the pain, the continuous medical procedures, may soon be familiar to the wounded from the Boston Marathon bombings.

"We'll heal and grow, but we'll always live with this for the rest of lives.  I think all survivors of traumatic events have that in common," said Habtu. 

Today she is reading the names of people who've died from gun violence since December's school shooting at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut.   She is at the U.S. Capitol with other Virginia Tech survivors and family members who are visiting the officers of senators, trying to convince them to expand background checks.  

Peter Read lost his daughter Mary in the Virginia Tech shootings. He says the families who've lost loved ones in Boston will need their private space, while potentially being thrust into the spotlight.  

"The media is looking at you as a pool of people from an event .  You're a family of a person who was killed or was injured, and that's your frame of reference.  You're being asked to do something on a national scale when your tragedy is on a personal scale," said Read.  

Stephen Barton with Mayors Against Illegal Guns was shot in the Aurora movie theatre last July. He says yesterday's bombings brought him back to that horrible day. 

"I saw the pictures and was thrust back to the day.  It looked the same. It's just chaos, a war zone," said Barton.

He and the others are concerned that the events of this week may put the issue of gun violence not back burner. But they're not going to give up their lobbying efforts one bit. 

Barton said, "For the Sandy Hook Families, it's been four months. But for a lot of these families, it's been many years. For Virginia Tech, it's been six years.  It's about time to see results."


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