Today, March 13th, citizens took to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and placed 7,000 pairs of shoes on its front lawn — a pair for every child killed by gun violence since the Sandy Hook massacre in December of 2012. That’s right — 7,000 children have lost their lives in this country due to unnecessary and avoidable gun violence in less than six years.
The impromptu memorial, coordinated by the global activist org Avaaz, is designed to serve as a visual representation of all the young lives lost and will be in place until 2 p.m. EST today. The shoes used for the demonstration include the shoes of children who lost their lives to guns, shoes of celebrity activists like Alyssa Milano, and shoes of ordinary citizens from all over the country who want to help send a message to lawmakers.
Dozens of volunteers began working before sunrise so that morning commuters and employees of the Capitol would see the tribute and its message while walking in to work today.
The shoe demonstration comes one day ahead of National Walkout Day on March 14th, in which students all over the country plan to walk out of school for exactly 17 minutes at 10 a.m local time to honor the 17 people who lost their lives on February 14th at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It also comes ahead of the March 24th March for Our Lives, which will be a day for students and citizens all over the nation to protest gun violence and advocate for common sense gun laws.
We applaud Avaaz and all the volunteers who worked to make today’s moving demonstration possible, and we thank them for attempting to get through to our nation’s lawmakers once and for all.