A group of activists collected thousands of children’s shoes for a temporary memorial to children killed by gun violence since 20 children and six adults died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newton, Connecticut, in December 2012.
Andrew Nazdin plans to use the shoes to create Monument for Our Kids, meant to raise awareness about children who’ve died from gun violence.
“We want to represent everyone who’s been lost,” he said. “We want to bring the tragedy that’s been felt in communities across the country right to Congress’ doorstep.”
The shoes will be arranged on the southeast lawn of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday morning.
“We’re going to set up the shoes in rows, so you’ll have the view of the Capitol in the background, and it will be like as if there is a march on the Capitol demanding gun legislation,” Nazdin said.
They will be displayed from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gun violence survivors will attend the memorial dedication Tuesday.
The goal is to collect 7,000 shoes, and the response has been overwhelming in the past week. Several bags and boxes of shoes were collected in just one day at Barstons Child’s Play in northwest D.C.
“I think people are really moved by trying to do something to prevent gun violence and see this as something they can do,” Child’s Play owner Simmie Kerman said.
Afterward, the shoes will be donated to local homeless shelters and other charities.