Seven thousand pairs of kids’ shoes were on display on the Capitol Hill lawn on Tuesday, courtesy of the activist group Avaaz.
The shoes were put on display in honor and memory of every child who has reportedly died from gun violence since 2012’s Sandy Hook Elementary School mass killing.
What are the details?
The display, titled, “Monument for Our Kids,” took up a massive amount of space on the lawn.
“We are bringing Congress face to face with the heartbreak of gun violence. All of these shoes cover more than 10,000 square feet,” Oscar Soria, senior campaigner with the group, told ABC News.
A news release, issued ahead of the event, cited the 7,000 figure from the Centers for Disease Control.
According to Business Insider, Emma Ruby-Sachs, deputy director of the group, said, “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 group’s Twitter account shared additional information on the display: “Tuesday March 13, from 8:30am, near the US Capitol: Shoes Memorial to 7,000 kids killed by guns in the US since the Sandy Hook school massacre.”
MEDIA ADVISORY— Tuesday March 13, from 8:30am, near the US Capitol: Shoes Memorial to 7,000 kids killed by guns in the US since the Sandy Hook school massacre / More details and contacts here: https://t.co/QP7eEQuyNe #NeverAgain #NotOneMore Follow @Avaaz_News for updates pic.twitter.com/2Q9qY8MtxM
— Avaaz (@Avaaz) March 11, 2018
ABC News also reported that the shoes were collected through donations over a two-week period.
“About five families came that were victims of gun violence,” Soria said, according to the network. “It was an emotional moment today.”
Tom Mauser, the father of a 1999 Columbine, Colorado, shooting victim who visited the display, attended the event and reportedly wore the shoes his son was wearing the day he was killed.
“I’ll be traveling to D.C. literally wearing my son Daniel’s shoes, the ones he wore the day he died at Columbine,” Mauser said.
“I think this kind of event with shoes offers a very powerful metaphor both for how we miss the victims who once filled those shoes and also for how we see ourselves wanting to walk in their place, seeking change, so that others don’t have to walk this painful journey,” he added.
Soria said that after the event’s one-day display, the shoes will be donated to charity.