NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – As gun violence and mass shootings are escalating in the country, Connecticut residents are recognizing National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday.

Events are being held across the state on Friday to discuss the issue of gun violence. In Hartford, Governor Ned Lamont will be attending an event at 10:30 a.m.

Cities and towns across the state began to recognize Gun Violence Awareness Day on Thursday, however.

A local organization, CT Against Gun Violence, invited activists and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal to speak at a “Wear Orange” rally at the United Church On The Green on Thursday evening.

Attendees wore orange as a call for an end to gun violence in all of its forms, including domestic violence, suicide, and city gun violence.

Following the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre, the Buffalo, New York, supermarket shooting and Wednesday’s deadly shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, activists spoke about the impact mass shootings have.

Nicole Matthews with Tears to Triumph worries her grandchildren will have to live their entire lives in fear.

“We should never have to bury our kids at 12, 13, 14. They’re supposed to be burying us,” she said. “I don’t want my granddaughter to be in fear. When I brought my granddaughter to school, I was scared to leave her. This is not normal.”

Speakers rallied the crowd to not give up hope in the fight to end gun violence.

“We have to hold onto our hope and our conviction for this to work. When we are feeling tired and overwhelmed, we must remember that a primary goal of system of oppression is to break us down,” said Janée Woods Weber with CT Women’s Education and Legal Assistance Fund.

Blumenthal said he has been advocating for “red flag” legislation, where courts can temporarily confiscate firearms belonging to people deemed to be a risk to themselves or others. He said this legislation is making progress, but activists told the crowd to hold officials accountable.

“Every person in that government seat was put in power by us. They can be moved when we decide to move them,” said Sean Reeves with S.P.O.R.T Academy.

In South Windsor, people also gathered to speak about gun violence awareness. They honored the lives of people who have been affected by shootings and discussed how to elevate gun violence prevention efforts nationwide.