ALEXANDRIA, VA–Orange shirts could be seen across Market Square yesterday when over 350 people attended the Alexandria Chapter of VA Moms Demand Action’s (AMDA) Wear Orange Rally. The event was intentionally held June 3 – National Gun Violence Awareness Day – kicking off a weekend campaign from the National Moms Demand Action organization to wear orange in solidarity with victims of gun violence.
Brooke Glisson, the Local Group Lead of AMDA, explained why they wear orange, saying, “Orange signifies the value of every human life.”
In an email obtained by The Zebra dated May 29 and addressed to AMDA, Glisson wrote: “Our hearts are with the city of Buffalo, NY and the students, staff, and families of Robb Elementary in Uvalde, TX. It has never been more important for us to gather to honor gun violence victims and survivors.”
Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson also spoke to the crowd, welcoming everyone to Market Square and mentioning the presence of every member of City Council. He declared June 3 Gun Violence Awareness Day in Alexandria, reading excerpts from City Council’s Proclamation on Gun Violence issued May 23.
The event continued with volunteers who read the names of each victim from the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas. The volunteers included Carlos Guitierrez (pictured), the Interim Gun Violence Prevention Lead for AMDA, The group also gave people in the crowd the opportunity to speak the names of gun violence victims they knew personally, while also making room to honor the 1,065 victims of gun-related deaths in the state of Virginia each year.
The keynote speaker, Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., gave a solemn speech, albeit in a determined tone, where he spoke of the recent tragedies across the country.
“While we breathe, we hope. We will be relentless,” he stated.
Miss yesterday’s event? Virginia Moms Demand Action is hosting a virtual event tonight, June 4, at 7:30 p.m. called Wear Orange: An Evening of Inspiration.