BRUNSWICK — Some 50 members of the Midcoast chapter of Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense marched down Maine Street and over the Frank J. Wood bridge on June 3, in observance of National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Orange, the color of safety, was a predominant theme, along with the message that gun violence is too prevalent in our society.

The Brunswick walk was the first, and Ruth Mlotek, of Topsham, thinks future walks will attract even greater numbers. “We had a lot of support from the road; the ‘Wear Orange’ message is new. Next year will be even better.”

Marches, rallies, picnics were held all over the country to honor those impacted by gun violence and to “demand action from anyone with the power to make change,” Mlotek said. Portland’s City Hall towers were lit orange for the weekend.

Mlotek walked to honor lives lost to gun violence and to promote safety awareness. “Every day, seven children lose their lives to gun violence, some in the most horrific accidents that could easily be prevented. I’m not against gun ownership; I’m simply for responsible gun ownership and safety.”

“Wear Orange” was inspired by friends of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Chicago high school student killed by gunfire. Those friends decided to honor her life by spreading a message about working to prevent gun violence.

Now, every year on June 2, which was Hadiya’s birthday and is now National Gun Violence Awareness Day, advocates for gun safety gather to honor those lost, and to inspire change.