The violent death of an Illinois teen is the inspiration behind a new national observance.
Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot and killed in Chicago just one week after marching in President Barack Obama's second inaugural parade.
Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, says Hadiya's friends came up with a way to honor her life.
"They decided that they were going to ask people to wear orange because that's what hunters wear to make sure that other hunters see them and don't shoot them," she explains. "So it just keeps growing nationally right now. More and more people are signing up to be a part of this. "
Tuesday would have been Hadiya's 18th birthday, and organizers are encouraging all Americans to wear orange as part of the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day to help honor the estimated 88 people killed by gun violence in America each day.
In Chicago, a dozen people were killed and more than 40 wounded in gun violence over the Memorial Day weekend. Daley says it's an epidemic.
"Unfortunately, that's not necessarily a surprise," she adds. "We've seen many violent weekends in the city of Chicago and what we really need to do is work together to make sure we're getting all these illegal guns off the street, getting jobs for youth. The hardest thing about gun violence - there's no one simple answer to the problem."
Daley says more work needs to be done to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands.
An estimated 40 percent of guns recovered in Cook County come from dealers in Cook County. Daley says that's why a statewide law is needed that licenses firearm dealers.
"There's more regulations on a teddy bear than there are on a gun," she stresses. "So we want to make sure we can license these firearm dealers. Is that going to stop all the illegal trafficking of guns? Absolutely not but if we can stop 40 percent of that, that's sure going to make a difference in our state."
Daily says guns kill nearly 1,000 Illinoisans each year.