NEWTOWN - A somber day in Newtown, remembering the tragedy that changed the town forever, seven years ago.
In the years after the Sandy Hook School shooting, some families have turned their grief into action.
"When it happens to you at 12 years old, you’re immediately an adult. You’re no longer a kid. You don’t get to enjoy any more of the kid things. I had to grow up that day," said JT Lewis, who lost his brother Jesse that day.
Jesse was just six years old. In his final moments, he chose a selfless act of bravery, yelling for his classmates to run during a short moment when the gunman stopped shooting.
"Nine of them did, so he’s actually credited with saving nine lives," said JT, "You can’t ask a 30 year Navy seal to do that right? To do what he did at six years old so it makes us proud and it’s an amazing legacy to leave behind."
That's why JT is asking President Trump to posthumously award Jesse with the Medal of Freedom. He says he's shared Jesse's story with the president and former president Obama, saying it has the power to bring people together.
"I’ve never seen anything connect two people of complete opposite political preferences, opposite ends of the spectrum and it brought them together," he said.
Turning the tragedy into something positive helps JT and his family get through the difficult times. That's why his mom created the "Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation," to promote social and emotional support in schools.
"She’s in five or ten percent of American schools, she’s in 90 countries she just hit, and over two million kids," said JT.
Years later, even on December 14th, knowing a difference is being made, helps heal the wounds.
"Anyone can turn something terrible that's happened to them into something positive and be able to move forward," he said.