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Giffords Group Plans Memorial to Gun Victims on National Mall


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Gabrielle Giffords’s group will install a memorial to gun violence victims on the National Mall.

Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona at her home in January.
Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona at her home in January.Credit…Cheriss May for The New York Times
  • April 8, 2021, 8:40 a.m. ET

In recent years, parts of the National Mall in Washington have been used to temporarily memorialize fallen American soldiers and those who have died from the coronavirus. Next week, a square block will be cordoned off to recognize the roughly 40,000 Americans who die annually in gun violence.

The gun violence prevention organization led by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was critically injured in a 2011 mass shooting, will on Monday evening place 38,000 silk white roses in 4,000 vases across from the Capitol. (An earlier version of this briefing item, using information from the gun violence prevention group, misstated when the memorial would be installed.)

The installation, set to occupy the square block of the National Mall lawn between Third and Fourth Streets, is designed by Doug Landry, a longtime Democratic advance man who created the coronavirus memorial that was on display during President Biden’s inauguration. Ms. Giffords is expected to visit the site on Wednesday with a delegation of advocates and members of Congress. It will be open to the public next Thursday.

“Our installation is a poignant reminder of the tragedy and trauma that gun violence inflicts on our nation,” said Peter Ambler, the executive director of the Giffords organization. “Each flower confronts us with the human cost of political failure — tens of thousands of people not here to pursue their hopes and dreams, families and communities gutted by the worst kind of loss. We will gather at the Gun Violence Memorial to mourn victims of gun violence and inspire the courage to act to address this national nightmare.”

The Giffords art installation will be the largest commemoration of gun violence victims in Washington since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut thrust the issue to the forefront of national politics.

While the House has recently passed gun control legislation including a requirement for universal background checks, there is little prospect of a divided Senate advancing the proposals. Mr. Biden is expected on Thursday to announce executive actions that include increased federal regulations on homemade firearms and name David Chipman, a Giffords adviser, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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