Groups gather in Sanford, NYC on anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death

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SANFORD, Fla. - Supporters in central Florida and New York City gathered Tuesday night to remember 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

One year ago Tuesday night, Martin was shot and killed in Sanford.

He left behind a heartbroken family, and the case ignited a firestorm of controversy across the country before the man who shot him was arrested.

Since his death, Martin's face and name have become synonymous with the issue of racism, which is why so many marked his death tonight with what his parents called the Million Hoodie Rally.

Hundreds of people packed Sanford's Fort Mellon Park, which was also ground zero when cries for "justice for Trayvon" came to a head with a massive rally last year.

The crowd waited until 7:15, the exact minute Trayvon Martin was believed to have died, and then lit their candles.

Dozens sang, held signs, lit their candles and donned their hoodies.

Martin was wearing a hoodie and unarmed when he was shot to death by George Zimmerman, in Zimmerman's neighborhood.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, but claims he fired in self-defense.

"We feel his pain, and his family's pain," said Sanford resident Qyateshia McKinnon.

Martin's parents were not in Sanford tonight, but went to the vigil in New York City.

"A year has passed. The wounds have not been healed. But we're working toward healing the wounds," said Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon.

"I'm going to continue to fight for my boys, as well as your boys and girls," said Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin.

Martin's parents were in the Sanford park last year when thousands rallied because Zimmerman was not arrested for weeks.

"Yeah, I kind of thought that maybe [the Martin family] would have come here being that it happened in our city," said a woman at the Sanford vigil.

"They can't be everywhere at the same time, but it would be nice if they'd came out here," said a man at the Sanford vigil.

The case sparked a national debate about racial profiling and still getting national attention.

Actor Jamie Foxx talked to the crowd in New York.

"That's the thing that baffled me the most. That someone could take someone else's life and then go home," said Foxx.

In Sanford, the message was about respect for one another. Something many said they're still waiting for.

"We're waiting for justice to be done," said Sanford resident C.J. Jones.

"How do we move forward and make ourselves an even better community to honor that loss of life," said Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte.

The city is hoping to do that with the new police chief they hired, Cecil Smith.

George Zimmerman is due back in court Tuesday.