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Over the weekend you may have noticed that many people were wearing orange. What does this mean you may ask? Well, orange is the official color of National Gun Violence Awareness. This year, June 3 was National Gun Violence Awareness Day as the day is commemorated on the first Friday of June each year. The accompanying weekend to National Gun Violence Awareness Day is what’s known as Wear Orange Weekend.
The day was chosen in remembrance of Hadiya Pendleton. Hadiya Pendleton was a 15-year old girl from Chicago, Illinois who was shot and killed on January 29, 2013, while standing with her friends at Harsh Park. Just one week prior to her murder, Pendleton had performed with her school at President Obama’s second inaugural parade.
The origins of Wear Orange Weekend: highlighting gun violence
Wear Orange began on June 2, 2015—what would have been Pendleton’s 18th birthday. Orange was chosen by Pendleton’s childhood who would wear the color to commemorate her life. They chose the color as it is worn by hunters to reduce their potential for being mistaken for game by others.
Over the weekend, many rallies and events were held across the United States with people wearing orange and having “end gun violence” signs. Celebrities and organizations also took part in the wear orange weekend. Before game two of the NBA Finals, all members from the Celtics and Warriors wore orange during their warmups and pregame interviews.
Sports teams such as the Houston Texans, the United States Men’s national team, New York Yankees and many more made statements and or donated to organizations to end gun violence. The support did not end there, however, as buildings such as the Space Needle in Seattle, the Empire State Building in New York City and even the White House were all lit orange in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
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