Friday, June 3 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day and June 3-5 is Wear Orange Weekend. The Town of Wilton will join the nationwide effort.
The Wear Orange effort began after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago in 2013. Two years later, on what would have been her 18th birthday, Hadiya’s friends commemorated her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Today, the movement is now observed every June to raise awareness about gun violence, and wearing the color orange honors what the Wear Orange website says is more than 40,000 people who are killed with guns and approximately 85,000 who are shot and wounded every year.
The Town of Wilton will observe Wear Orange beginning with a ceremony on the front steps of Town Hall (238 Danbury Rd.) on Thursday, June 2 at 11 a.m. Speakers include First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice, Wilton Police Chief John Lynch and Wilton Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Smith.
“Sadly in 2019, when we last observed National Gun Violence Awareness Day, it was six days after shootings at a municipal building in Virginia Beach that resulted in the death of 11 city employees and a member of the public. Again, we will gather within days of more horrific shootings,” Vanderslice wrote to residents in a recent update, adding, “Please join us.”