Connecticut State Police presented awards Tuesday to more than 300 state and local police officers who responded to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.
Commissioner Dora B. Schriro and State Police Col. Brian Meraviglia led the ceremony at Rentschler Field in East Hartford at 11:30 a.m. and gave medals to the first responders.
It was a solemn ceremony, and a year and a half after the tragedy, the air was still heavy with heartache.
"It's important that we recognize the professionalism and the good work that was done by many, many people," said State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman were scheduled to address the award recipients at the event.
"In the midst of disaster and despair, so many in Connecticut rose to the occasion," Malloy said.
Family members of Sandy Hook victims were also in attendance.
"It will always be in our minds," Vance said. "Our hearts will always be broken."