SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The city of Savannah is honoring the lives of victims and survivors of gun violence. June 4 will now be recognized as National Gun Violence Awareness Day in the city.
Mayor Van Johnson read that proclamation Friday night with other city and state leaders. They’re standing behind the many families who have lost loved ones too soon to acts of gun violence.
“When I tell you the worst part of my life, just close your eyes and imagine losing somebody that you love. That’s why I wear orange,” District 3 Alderoman Linda Wilder-Bryan said.
Gun violence advocates are pushing to end what they call a public health epidemic of unintentional shootings, suicides, and homicides as 96 americans are killed every day.
“We’re here because we say one crime due to gun violence is too many in this community and we say that’s absolutely unacceptable,” Johnson said.
Dozens wore orange to raise awareness. It’s the same color hunters wear for protection and safety. The national event was started in 2013 after a Chicago woman was killed by a stray bullet.
“If we want to do something about crime even if you don’t wear orange, orange has to be in your heart, it has to be in your head, and it has to be on your back every June 3rd,” Wilder-Bryan said.
That’s why Mayor Johnson signed the proclamation bringing awareness to the issue to prevent the tragic effects of gun violence and protect human lives.
The Pastures family lost their son to gun violence in 2015. It was the first homicide of the year.
“Can you imagine bringing in the new year and then 19 days later you get a phone call saying that your son has been murdered? It’s just horrifying,” Michelle Pastures said.
“That feeling never goes away. It’s been five to six years but it never goes away. It’s just like it was yesterday,” Joseph Pastures said.
So they say if you see something, say something.
“And don’t wait until it happens to you. Get involved before you get that knock on your door saying that your child has been a victim of gun violence,” Michelle Pastures said.
A community initiative asking moms to take 10 actions to reduce gun violence in Savannah over the next 100 days continues.
Officials also ask that you call Crime Stoppers at 912-234-2020 if you see something.