March 13 (UPI) — Nearly 15,000 empty shoes were laid on the grass outside of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday — a memorial for all the children who’ve died by gun violence in the United States in the last five years.
The memorial, named “Monument For Our Kids,” included a pair of shoes for each child killed by gun violence in the United States. The 7,000 pairs represent all child victims since 20 kindergartners and first-graders died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012.
“What we’re saying is killing has to stop,” Emma Ruby-Sachs, deputy director of Avaaz, told FOX 5-TV. “Culture is changing in America right now. The majority of Americans want gun control. The majority of gun owners want gun control and we’re putting lives of these children at the feet of Congress and saying, ‘Catch up, act now, let’s end this.'”
The silent protest is intended to spur lawmakers to take action on gun reforms. Other protests have occurred in Florida and Washington since 14 students and three educators died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
The shoes will be on display from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday on the southeast lawn of the U.S. Capitol across from the Library of Congress.
“We want to represent everyone who’s been lost,” Andrew Nazdin, who helped create the memorial, said. “We want to bring the tragedy that’s been felt in communities across the country right to Congress’ doorstep.”
Organizers of the memorial said the Parkland shooting was the catalyst for creating the memorial.
This week, President Donald Trump said strengthening background checks for gun purchases would be “fully backed” by the White House, as well as other provisions. No assault rifle ban, though, is expected to pass in Congress.