The impromptu memorial was coordinated by global activist group Avaaz.
In the shadow of the Capitol dome Tuesday was a sobering display of thousands of pairs of shoes, organized neatly across the grass said to represent children who have died in the U.S. from gunshot wounds since the Newtown elementary school massacre in 2012.
The 7,000 shoes in the "Monument for our Kids" installment represent every child that was killed by gunfire since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, according to Avaaz. "We are bringing Congress face-to-face with the heartbreak of gun violence", Oscar Soria, a senior campaigner with Avaaz, told ABC News at the demonstration.
"There's nobody in those shoes, it's like the emptiness in our hearts from gun violence", said Tom Mauser, 66, whose son was killed in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, in which 13 people were shot dead, as cited by Reuters.
The demonstration was based on research by the American Academy of Pediatrics that found that 1,300 children die from gun shot wounds in the USA annually, or about three daily. When extrapolated to the five-year, three-month period the empty shoes protest encompasses, the number is closer to 7,460.
The display was laid out on the southeast lawn of the Capitol.
The push for gun control has had mixed results. The Parkland shooting was the 18th school shooting of the year.