Shoe memorial held for victims of gun violence

No link to any supporting information was included, but Avaaz said that guns kill more than "1,300 American kids a year". "We want to bring the tragedy that's been felt in communities across the country right to Congress' doorstep". "All of these shoes cover more than 10,000 square feet". "It was an emotional moment today". Some of the shoes being placed on the lawn are from some of the victims, according to Avaaz.

Tom Mauser came to the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday dressed in gray Vans sneakers, the same ones his 15-year-old son Daniel wore when he was killed by two gunmen at Colorado's Columbine High School in 1999 along with a dozen other people. 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.

Also in attendance was Andy and Barbara Parker whose daughter, Alison, was shot on live television in 2015 while doing a news report for CBS affiliate station, WDBJ, in Roanoke, Virginia, Avaaz said in the statement. Prominent celebrities, including Bette Midler and Chelsea Handler, helped publicize the drive via social media.

"It's fantastic to see", Soria said.

Tuesday's memorial comes just one day before thousands of students are expected to walk out of their classrooms to protest gun violence in an event dubbed the #Enough National School Walkout.

7,000 pairs of empty shoes cover the grass outside the US Capitol.

Per the group's website, all of the shoes will be donated to Washington, D.C., area homeless shelters and charities after the memorial concludes. Organizer Emma Ruby-Sachs said she thinks it's a pivotal moment for the movement to end gun violence.

Vanessa Coleman