Wednesday will mark a major day of remembrance for the victims of last week’s Highland Park parade shooting, with a march planned for the nation’s capital and a city-hosted vigil in the evening.
First, a major march is planned for Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, with activists and protesters calling for passage of a federal ban on assault weapons.
Several moms whose children were at last week’s parade, where a shooting left seven dead and dozens more injured, also met with lawmakers ahead of the march, including Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.
“We are really motivated to make some change today,” Kitty Brandtner, one of the organizers of the event, said.
Dr. Emily Lieberman, a “March Fourth” organizer, was at the Fourth of July parade when gunfire rang out. She escaped, along with her family, by hiding in a bathroom near the parade route for hours.
“We were all in darkness, silence, crouching on the ground, praying that the shooter wasn’t coming for us, praying that the other people we were separated from were alive,” she said.
The group plans to use the raw emotions of recent mass shootings in Buffalo, Highland Park, Uvalde and elsewhere to help state their case to lawmakers, and to the American public.
“Highland Park has to be the last community on this list to just be massacred by assault weapons,” Lieberman said.
Back in Highland Park, a city-sponsored vigil will take place at 7 p.m.
According to city officials, the vigil will honor the memory of victims at City Hall, and the public is invited to mourn those who were lost in the shooting.