NEW YORK (WBNG) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed state landmarks and structures to be illuminated orange to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day this weekend.
Friday, June 4 began 'Wear orange Weekend', a national recognition of gun safety that honors victims and survivors of gun violence tragedies.
The national event is sponsored by the organization Everytown for Gun Safety.
According to the organization, 100 lives are lost every dy to gun violence in the United States.
Governor Cuomo has signed a proclamation designating June 2021 as Gun Violence Awareness Month in the state of New York to shine a light on this issue.
Gov. Cuomo said in a statement Friday,
"Every single day, more than 100 Americans are killed with a gun, and hundreds more are shot and injured - a senseless plague of violence and heartbreak that had left an unfillable hole in the souls of too many moms and dads, friends, teachers, and communities across the country. Tonight, on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, New York State is holding everyone who has been lost to or devastated by this crisis in our hearts. And we will continue to lead the legal and legislative fight for a country free from gun violence, showing that our state's common-sense reforms can both respect the Constitution and ensure safety and security for all."
The following iconic landmarks and structures will be illuminated orange this weekend:
- One World Trade Center
- Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
- Kosciuszko Bridge
- H. Carl McCall SUNY Building
- State Education Building
- Alfred E. Smith Building
- State Fairgrounds - Main Gate and Expo Center
- Niagara Falls
- Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge
- Grand Central Terminal - Pershing Square Viaduct
- Albany International Airport Gateway
- Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex
- MTA LIRR - East End Gateway at Penn Station
Officials say the color orange has been the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement since 2013, when friends of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton wore the color in her honor. The Chicago teen was shot and killed that year, just one week after performing at President Obama's second inaugural parade.
The first National Gun Violence Awareness Day occurred on June 2, 2015, which would have been Hadiya's 18th birthday.
According to Everytown For Gun Safety, the gun homicide rate in the United States is 25 times higher than that of other high-income countries, with more than 14,000 people dying annually. Suicides involving firearms claim the lives of more than 23,000 people in the country annually, as well.