NEWTOWN, Ct. — "Always stay humble and kind."
These lyrics reminded Mark Barden of his young son.
"Always be humble and kind. It's a very appropriate way to honor my little Daniel," he said through tears.
Six-year-old Daniel was among the 20 children and six staff members killed during the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"I miss him terribly every single day and I will for the rest of my life," Barden added.
Five years later, Mark's daughter sang by his side, during a vigil in Connecticut. It's one of hundreds across the country in December honoring the lives of those lost to gun violence.
Former Sandy Hook teacher, Abbey Clements, and her second grade students all survived. Now, like many in attendance, she said she's fighting for stricter gun laws.
"Grief doesn't go away. But I also know that Newtown residents work hard to try to channel that grief to do positive things."
One of those positive things: a five-acre permanent memorial that will sit about a quarter mile from the New Sandy Hook Elementary School.
When asked why it's taken five years, Commission Board member Dan Kruass told CBS News residents wanted to take their time.
"We're just really trying to do it right. We've got once chance so we're being very thorough, very meticulous."
Clements said she looks forward to having a place to reflect.
"I think people carry what happened here in their hearts. I know that they do. It's part of who we are… now."
This community, forever changed.