Seventeen Tribute Chairs

Seventeen Tribute Chairs

By Aviva Kempner

       In 2000, my nieces and I picketed in front of the Vice President’s mansion after Al Gore was not declared the winner.  When a news reporter asked my niece Delaney, aged 10, why she was protesting, she replied “I am scared of guns in the schools.”

It’s eighteen years later, and the situation has gotten worse. Our kids are being shot and are even more scared of guns being in their schools. As parents and aunts and uncles and Americans we must take a stand on gun control.

Here is one way you can demonstrate your desire for reform. My neighbors Elaine, Julia, three neighbor kids, Grace, Mateo, Xavier, and I created a memorial in honor of the 17 who lost their lives in Parkland in anticipation of the March for Our Lives coming this Saturday, March 24th.

I suggest that all those in the Washington area and around the nation also create a symbolic tribute to the victims.  For our tribute, we placed 17 lawn chairs out on my front lawn. The last chair was placed to its location by Congressman Jamie Raskin with help from my friend and landscaper Donald.

Try doing the same. Or be creative by using wooden stakes, balloons, empty shoes, or anything you can find to symbolize the loss of these 17 lives and the thousands of others that have gone before them.

Just a warning: if it is going to rain or snow cover the signs in plastic because the weather ruined our first signs.

Let us unite to demand how we need gun reform now. We need Congress to hear the cries of the innocent victims, the young folk and the grieving relatives.

In the words of the button made by my school teacher friend:



Filmmaker and writer Aviva Kempner is a DC voting rights advocate.

4 thoughts on “Seventeen Tribute Chairs

  1. This is a moving tribute to the gun violence victims and a visual reminder to get off our a#@es to change the gun-promoting culture and laws.

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