Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Holyoke Mayor to Honor National Gun Violence Awareness Day

On Friday, June 2nd, Mayor Alex Morse will host an event at City Hall starting at 4:00 pm to bring awareness to gun violence.

June 2nd is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and citizens from across the country will be participating in the “Wear Orange” campaign in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a teen shot and killed in Chicago just one week after performing at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade in 2013. Mayor Morse encourages all attendees to wear orange in solidarity with those who have lost someone to gun violence.

“We have a responsibility as a community to confront this issue,” Mayor Morse says, “In Holyoke, many people have friends, neighbors, and classmates who have been a victim of gun violence or who have lost a loved one. Anne Thalheimer is a great spokesperson for this cause, and when she came to my office to propose this event, I immediately jumped on board. I really want to bring illegal guns and gun violence to the forefront of our community conversations. I hope residents will come out on Friday to wear orange and stand together as a city against gun violence.”

The event will follow a program of speakers including the Mayor and State Representative Aaron Vega who will issue proclamations declaring June 2nd National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Anne Thalheimer, a survivor of a college shooting and gun violence activist, and Reynaldo Rivera, who lost his mother seventeen years ago during a shooting in the Flats neighborhood, will both speak on their experiences and the impact gun violence has made on their lives. The Holyoke Police Department will also participate in the event and Roshay, Holyoke High student best known for his video “Stop the Violence” will perform songs on stereotypes and anti-violence. The ceremony will end with a prayer and release of balloons in remembrance of those we have lost.

Anyone who has lost a loved one to Gun Violence is welcome to bring pictures or memorabilia to the event for a memorial in tribute to all of those who have passed.

For more information on the national campaign “Wear Orange”, visit

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