On Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick will hold its 11th annual vigil to honor victims and survivors of gun violence. This event, part of what is now a national observance near the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, honors all victims of gun violence across the United States.
Our goal is simple. The gun violence prevention movement will unite to support the families, survivors, and communities impacted by gun violence, educate, continue to raise awareness, and keep this critical public health and public safety issue front and center throughout our nation.
These multi-denominational remembrance events have been held in Washington, D.C. at the National Cathedral and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church to bring together survivors of gun violence, victims’ family members, concerned citizens, faith leaders, lawmakers, leaders of gun violence prevention organizations, and activists from all corners of our nation. Parallel observations, organized by the UU congregation, have been taking place annually in Brunswick.
While this vigil is not particular to the victims of the recent mass shooting in Lewiston, there is no question that the people of Maine are currently in a state of mourning. For us this year, this observance takes on new layers of emotion, meaning, and urgency. Therefore, we join in solidarity with other locations nationwide to recognize and honor all victims and survivors of gun violence.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with tabling by co-sponsoring organizations. Opening remarks will be made at 6:50, and the live stream from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. will begin at 7. We encourage attendance, even if you are unable to stay for the entire event.
Event sponsors include Be Smart, Brunswick Area Interfaith Council (BAIC), Episcopal Diocese of Maine, Everytown for Gun Safety, Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Council of Churches, Maine Gun Safety Coalition, Moms Demand Action, Remembering Darien, Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick, and Veterans for Peace.
Over 400,000 Americans have been killed by guns since 20 children and six educators were killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School by a gunman with an AR-15 and high capacity magazines. We urge you to join the gun violence prevention community in our collective effort to continue to shine a light on the devastating epidemic of gun violence in our nation until these gun deaths and injuries are reduced.