September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  Read and share stories to honor survivors whose loved ones died by gun suicide.

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Jay Ward

In memory of Adam Ward

Adam had a larger-than-life personality. When he entered a room, he could completely transform the mood; his positive energy was infectious. Never without a smile, often laughing, he seemed immune to the frustrations of life. My sister Sarah and I admired his genuine kindness and ability to befriend anyone who crossed his path. He was our little brother, but we looked up to him.

On August 26, 2015, Adam was murdered while filming a live morning report alongside anchor Alison Parker. He was killed instantly, with one shot to the back of the head, no chance to react.

The next hours and days are largely a blur, but I’ll never forget walking through the airport later that morning. Everywhere I looked, I saw Adam and Alison on TV screens. Our family was thrust into the spotlight during the most difficult moment of our lives.

We choose to share Adam’s story for two reasons: because this is one way we keep our brother alive. While Adam’s voice has been silenced, he changed many lives in 27 years and I believe he will continue to do so long after his death. And because the stories of victims and survivors of gun violence need to be heard.

To end this uniquely American epidemic will require all of us, survivors and non-survivors alike, standing up for our loved ones and demanding common-sense, evidence-based and effective policies to create a safer tomorrow.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.