INSTALLATION: Giffords Prepares to Unveil Gun Violence Memorial on National Mall in Washington DC
The installation will feature flowers honoring the nearly 40,000 Americans who die every year from gun violence
Washington DC — Today Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced that starting next week, the National Mall will feature a Gun Violence Memorial to remember victims of the crisis and inspire the #CourageToAct. At the core of the memorial will be 4,000 vases, each featuring 10 silk white roses to represent the number of Americans who die from gun violence each year.
Underscoring the urgent need for action, the memorial will be showcased mere weeks after a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, and a deadly mass shooting that claimed the lives of eight people at three metro Atlanta massage parlors, in addition to the high-casualty mass shootings that continue to devastate under-resourced communities and often don’t receive attention. The White House has recently taken steps to make gun safety a priority: along with expected announcements today, the administration proposed a $5 billion investment into community violence prevention and intervention programs.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“It’s time to build a safer future for our children. We must call upon our conscience and our courage, and take action to end gun violence,” said former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. “Nearly every American will know a victim of gun violence at some point in their lifetime. This installation reminds us all that we can’t look away because it doesn’t have to be this way. Our country has done enough thinking and praying about this crisis—it’s time to take action.”
The Gun Violence Memorial will be open for public viewing from Tuesday, April 13th through the end of the week. On Wednesday, April 14th, former Congresswoman Giffords and other special guests will speak at a press conference about the importance of federal action on gun safety. Congresswoman Giffords will also visit with other members of Congress at different times during the week.
Giffords partnered with Doug Landry, the visual artist who created the COVID-19 flag memorial, to visualize the scale and scope of this crisis with a floral installation near the United States Capitol. The display serves as a tribute to the many lives that have been lost to gun violence, a testament to the strength and courage of survivors, and a plea to our elected officials to pass universal background checks and other lifesaving gun safety legislation in the Senate.
Giffords Law Center Executive Director Robyn Thomas emphasized the urgent need for lawmakers to enact a gun safety agenda when she testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. The pressure on the Senate to hold votes is taking place in the wake of the House of Representatives passing lifesaving legislation to enact universal background checks, address the Charleston Loophole, and prevent abusive dating partners and stalkers from accessing guns. Giffords hopes that the Gun Violence Memorial inspires more Americans to call on their senators to pass gun safety laws.