Wear Orange events in a public park on this beautiful June day. We had orange balloons, a "Honk if you are wearing orange!" sign by the roadway (many honks), the chance to paint designs on orange rocks, info and flyers from many organizations (including our local Moms Demand Action group, who were the sponsors, and Prairie Pride Coalition--it's Pride month!--, the YWCA, and more!), the chance to decorate a t-shirt for someone you love who was a victim or is a survivor--to hang up with our 10 (oh, no! alas, yes!) orange t-shirts for 10 victims of local gun violence. We had Be Smart education info for gun safety. We had a chance to write downs the names of the lost. We had orange Sno-Cones and fun games. We had joy, and we had tears.
Two of the mothers who had lost their sons to gun violence this past year were there to speak, to cry, to inspire us to action, to hug each other and to be hugged.
Hadiya Pendleton, who started this particular Wear Orange awareness event, wearing orange, like hunters, to say, in essence, I am human, not prey, after Hadiya was killed at 15 by a stray bullet. Thank you.*
Soon, soon, but not today, because of the long, cold, late spring...soon my orange day lilies will bloom.
*Thank you, Ulf Eliasson, for this day lily image from Wikipedia!