Thousands of pairs of shoes were placed on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, roughly one for each child who has been killed in school shootings since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, according to activist group Avaaz.
The shoe demonstration comes a day before a massive nationwide walkout by students to demand tougher laws on gun ownership, part of a campaign that emerged after the killing of 17 students and staff at a Florida high school a month ago.
Students across the country will walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 victims who lost their lives in the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The 14,000 shoes serve as an installment that organizers called, "Monument for our Kids".
According to marchforourlives.com, which has a map of planned protests across the country, there are also events planned for Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Brandon and Plant City. A sea of empty shoes also filled the grounds outside the Department of Health in 2016 to represent the millions of uninsured people who die each year from treatable conditions. The 7,000 pairs represent all child victims since 20 kindergartners and first-graders died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012.
CBS affiliate WUSA reports that the group based the protest on research from the American Academy of Pediatrics that found approximately 1,300 children are killed by guns each year, or about three every day.
Avaaz, a global organization that coordinates demonstrations for progressive causes, created the shoe installation on the southeast lawn at about 8 a.m.