Join us on June 7-9th for Wear Orange, as we unite in our call to end gun violence and honor the more than 120 people who are shot and killed, and hundreds more who are wounded and traumatized, every day in our country. Read some of the stories of those affected by gun violence below.

total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Pat Rottschaefer

In memory of Christie Mertins

On May 31, 2004, my daughter Christie was found during a welfare check by local law enforcement. She had been shot twice and was dead when found.

Earlier in the evening two days prior to her being found, she and her boyfriend were arguing. Police had intervened but let them go. The argument must have continued, as it escalated into gun violence. We can infer that it was a momentary action by her boyfriend because after killing her he then shot and killed himself.

No words can say how this momentary act affected everyone around her and me. For days I wandered around saying to anyone who would listen: “Parents are not supposed to survive their children.” Even now I still do not understand how things like this can happen in this country I so love. And yet, they do.

Christie was 26 when she died. We had her cremated and put the ashes in the ocean when the whales were passing by Southern California. She so loved whales.

She loved dancing … and singing … and having fun. She was young and vibrant and taken from us too soon.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.