The seventh anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School is two and a half months away, but there is a different date that caused heartbreak for one mother.
Nicole Hockley's six-year-old son Dylan was one of the 20 children killed in the 2012 shooting, and has worked as an advocate for gun violence prevention ever since.
Hockley posted an emotional tribute on Twitter on Monday, telling how that day marked one she had long dreaded.
"Today it's been 2,474 days since Dylan was murdered at Sandy Hook. 2,474 days since he's been gone from my life. He was only in my life for 2,473 days. I feared today. Would him being gone longer than he was here mean I would forget him?" Hockley wrote in a tweet, shared alongside a picture of her son.
"His laugh, his eyes, the smell of his hair, his voice, the feel of his hand in mine? I am sad today, but I no longer have fear. I have forgotten nothing. My son lives on in my heart, in my soul, in the memories of our family and friends and in the work of me and his Daddy," she wrote.
"We will always love him and miss him. My butterfly is gone, but never forgotten, no matter how many days go by," she wrote.
The emotional tribute prompted thousands of Twitter users to like and retweet her posts.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., responded, writing "I bet those were the best 2,473 days of your life (or anyone’s who was blessed to know your beautiful son)."
"We will never forget the Dylan you’ve shared with us or the courage you show every single day to make sure one day, no mother will ever have to experience this," wrote Swalwell, who made stopping gun violence a significant part of his short-lived presidential bid.