“If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.” ~Bayard Rustin
Releasing balloons into the sky is hugely symbolic in today’s age. It represents hope, innocence, and a way for people to reach out to life. However, Balloons to Heaven Day is about mourning loved ones, specifically from the aftermath of gun violence. Because gun violence has become a prominent issue within the United States, Balloons to Heaven Day is a time for families everywhere to raise their balloons to the sky in hopes of ending gun violence.
History of Balloons to Heaven Day
The act of releasing balloons has been around since 1984 during the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. Since then, releasing balloons into the sky has become an act of celebration, an expression of feeling for people everywhere. While releasing balloons can be used for many reasons, the recent increase in gun violence has incorporated this act as a way to deter gun violence from happening in schools and venues. This holiday is also known to be connected with National Crime Victims Rights Week, an annual commemoration in the United States that helps people learn about the effects of victimization and help others learn about what rights victims have when faced with a crime against them.
With the increase in awareness of gun violence in the United States, Balloons to Heaven Day is a holiday made to help bring awareness to the pain gun violence causes to American families all over the country. Essentially, it is a way for families to mourn the loss of their family members an instead of turning their pain to anger, they turn it into blessings for the future. People also attach notes and choose the color of their balloons to represent the movement against gun violence. Essentially, balloons are used as a symbol for releasing grief and as a celebration of life, turning negative experiences into positive movements of emotion and hope.
How to Celebrate Balloons to Heaven Day
If you have lost a family member or a close friend to gun violence, then attend an event where you and your family can raise balloons and mourn your loss. If you like, you can decorate your balloons and add special notes to them to make the event even more special for you. Also, let your friends on social media know what day it is by sharing on social media your balloon and use the hashtag #balloonstoheavenday to let everyone know what day it is today and why it’s important to you.