7K pairs of shoes placed near US Capitol for child gun victims

7000 pairs of shoes on Capitol lawn to represent children lost to gun violence since Sandy Hook

7000 pairs of shoes on Capitol lawn to represent children lost to gun violence since Sandy Hook

A 19-year-old with a semi-automatic rifle killed 17 people at a high school in Florida on February 14, sparking rage among parents, students and educators.

The Monument For Our Kids memorial includes 7,000 pairs of shoes, said Avaaz, the organization behind the event.

Activists and volunteers gathered at dawn, placing 7,000 colorful pairs of donated children's footwear side by side in a trapezoid shape to commemorate those who have died since the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Pairs of shoes are laid out on the lawn outside of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, March 13, 2018.

Celebrities were also among those who donated shoes, ABC reported.

The event was planned by Avaaz, an global advocacy group, that has done similar events before. The day 20 children and six adults died in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT. "I think this kind of event with shoes offers a very powerful metaphor both for how we miss the victims who once filled those shoes, and also for how we see ourselves wanting to walk in their place, seeking change, so that others don't have to walk this painful journey".

CBS affiliate WUSA reports that the group based the protest on research from the American Academy of Pediatrics that found approximately 1,300 children are killed by guns each year, or about three every day.

Some schools will allow students to participate and have encouraged them to exercise their free speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The silent protest is meant to spur lawmakers to take action on gun reforms. Shortly after the Parkland shooting, the group set up a trio of billboards, near Marco Rubio's Florida headquarters.

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