Town leaders and police representatives from South Orange and Maplewood joined scores of residents today in Maplewood’s Memorial Park to observe National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
To honor the lives of victims and raise awareness of gun violence, participants wore orange — the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.
Today’s local rally, which echoed many held across the country, was organized by Rachel Fisher, with help from Ken Feinleib, through “Mom’s Demand Action,” which was founded by Shannon Watts in 2012, the day after the Sandy Hook tragedy. Moms Demand Action is a campaign to raise awareness and to demand action for gun reform; the group envisions a country where all children and families are safe from gun violence.
Close to 200 people rallied in Memorial Park, many with home-made signs and all wearing orange. Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca presented a proclamation declaring June 2, 2106 National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Maplewood. Other leaders who appeared or spoke included Maplewood Police Captain Dawn Williams, Maplewood Deputy Mayor Nancy Adams, Maplewood Committeewoman India Larrier, Maplewood Township Administrator Joseph Manning, South Orange Police Sgt. Adrian Acevedo, Rabbi Jesse Olitzky of Congregation Beth El in South Orange, and South Orange Trustees Walter Clarke, Steve Schnall and Deborah Davis Ford.
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