MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A crowd of people, from younger generations to older, from city leaders to community members, met in the atrium at Government Plaza Friday morning decked out in orange. But today, the color means something more.

The Mobile Branch of the NAACP and Mothers Involved Against Gun Violence encouraged people to wear orange to honor National Gun Violence Awareness Day, which falls on June 2 every year. 

It’s also a day to honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that we have a gun violence epidemic, pandemic, problem, call it whatever you want to, nationwide, then we wouldn’t be here,” said President of NAACP Mobile Branch, Robert Clopton.

According to statistics from Gun Violence Archive, there were more than 20,000-gun related deaths in the U.S. in 2022 alone.

“Gun violence doesn’t stop when the trigger is pulled,” said Mayor Sandy Stimpson. “It continues on for the victim, it continues on for the families of those that pulled the trigger and also those that have possibly been shot and that has a ripple effect all throughout our community.”

One of the families still feeling the effects of losing a loved one because of gun violence is the family of 16-year-old Chavan Scruggs.

He was killed in September of 2021 in the Toulminville neighborhood. His mother, Nija Hill, started Mother’s Involved Against Gun Violence after his passing. 

“Mothers are not supposed to bury their children and I think that we all have to do something about it and it’s going to take everybody involved because we’re losing our children, we’re losing our future.” said Hill. “We stand now to change the next mother from feeling this way.”

The Mobile Branch of the NAACP and Mothers Involved Against Gun Violence will hold a march and rally on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Medal of Honor Park.