Orange was the brightest color on the State House grounds June 3rd celebrating the 3rd annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Victims of gun violence and their families came out to the Family Friendly Fest & Walk to share their stories with others, participate in fun activities, and have a victory walk around the State House.
The official National Gun Violence Awareness Day was June 2nd, but Everytown for Gun Safety decided to extend the festivities another day to increase the community participation numbers. They knew that Saturday would be a better day for the community to be involved, free from work and school.
Everytown for Gun Safety had a total of 9 partners for the Family Friendly Fest & Walk who made the event a success. More than half of these partners came out, set up their information tables, and gave safety information to those who attended.
At the Moms Demand Action table, Roberta McKelvin, Community Outreach Leader of the Columbia branch displayed a portrait of her late son in his honor. She stood beside the portrait and shared how she lost him to gun violence, and the measures she now takes to prevent other mothers from feeling a similar pain.
“As a survivor, it overwhelms me with joy to see everyone bringing awareness about the issue,” said McKelvin.
McKelvin, along with many others have vowed since the loss of their loved ones to bring mass awareness to the issue of gun violence in the community. With joy in her eyes, she declared, “I am here to save a life!”
By Dara Khaalid