It’s been one year since the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School.
But for the community of Uvalde, Texas, the devastation, frustration, and anger are still fresh.
Residents were bound together forever by the horrific tragedy that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
"This week is a tough week. We can’t even imagine the pain that the families are feeling. One year and we realize you still don’t have the answers you need. And it frustrated all of us," said Uvalde Mayor Dan McLaughlin.
McLaughlin says he and other Uvalde officials prepared for a difficult day Wednesday.
No city-sanctioned events will take place this week, they say, to give residents a chance to grieve and reflect on what happened one year ago.
Officials have been urging people to stay away from Uvalde during this heartbreaking time.
But some of the victims’ loved ones are welcoming visitors from around the world to join them in a candlelight vigil in Uvalde Memorial Park.
Their simple request was, "Remember their names."
SEE MORE: Uvalde requests privacy as anniversary of school shooting approaches
As the community’s grief holds strong, so does its frustration.
Families say they’re still haunted by themore than 70 minutes it took for police to finally confront the gunman that day.
Their cries for more transparency from authorities and stricter gun control measures are growing louder with each passing day.
"As parents, it’s our responsibility to protect our children. As representatives, it’s your responsibility to protect your community and state. We both failed to protect what is important. I failed as a parent for not protecting my daughter that day," said Veronica Mata, the mother of Tess Mata, who was just 10 years old when she was killed in the shooting.
A criminal investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.
But progress there has been complicated by conflicting reports given by Uvalde Unified School District police and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Some Uvalde families are taking matters into their own hands, filing lawsuits against the maker of the gun used in the shooting and against law enforcement.
The mayor told reporters Monday he is frustrated by a lack of action on the state level, touting what he called a conversation on gun control and stronger background checks.
Amid the darkness that still clouds the grief-stricken city, there are glimmers of hope and signs of moving ahead.
Plans for a new school to replace Robb Elementary are in full swing.
Some students who survived the attack bravely attended in-person classes once again.
But even as life goes on, the community of Uvalde vows to always remember the lives lost too soon on May 24, 2022.
“We’re all in this together. We have not felt the pain that they felt by any means and don’t claim to. But together we can hopefully move forward," said McLaughlin.
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