I noticed the Office News item “Wear Orange on Tuesday” in the May 29 OPPeace Daily News, and I clicked to read the article (click here). As I watched the video linked to it, I was touched by the reality behind the tag line “Wear Orange.”
“Our hearts hurt so much” were the wrenching words of the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the fifteen year old high school senior who marched in President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade and a week later was shot by mistake by gang members in Chicago. Her friends were quickly aware that “our best friend was lying on the concrete dying.” These few words and the expressions on the faces of Hadiya’s parents and friends were crying out to the world that gun violence had devastated this family and community. Within days hundreds of teenagers in Chicago commemorated Hadiya’s life by wearing orange. The color orange was chosen because “hunters wear it so not to become targets and to say I’m here,” “you can see it far and near,” and “it will save lives.” On June 2, Hadiya’s 18th birthday, a coalition of community members and activists have joined the call to wear orange.
Gun violence is an epidemic in the United States and Tuesday June 2 is the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day for which Americans nationwide are called to “Wear Orange.” The pledge for the June 2 day states the purpose is “to honor the lives of Americans lost by gun violence, do everything to keep firearms out of the wrong hands and be responsible gun owners and keep our children safe.”
The Dominican Sisters of Peace in 2013 created a public position which states:
“In the US, we will advocate for common sense gun control laws such as requiring universal background checks before purchasing arms; banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines; promoting strategies to prevent gun violence; and providing adequate financial resources to establish mental health programs for victims and perpetrators and prevention programs for at risk people.”
Tuesday, June 2, can be a day for Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace to wear orange. But it can also be a day to create plans to sponsor programs across the country to demonstrate our Dominican commitment to end gun violence and sensible gun control. Sr. Judy Morris, OP, Justice Promoter for the congregation, has created a program for our use in our Dominican and local community groups. If you wish further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Wearing orange on June 2 is the first step.