GENEVA, Ala. (WDHN) — This weekend is National Gun Violence Awareness Weekend, where millions of people across the country come together to lift up the victims of gun violence and their families.

In Geneva County, members of the community and the Geneva County NAACP gathered in front of the Geneva County Courthouse with a mission to encourage people to put down their guns and educate the younger generation on gun safety.

“We should be teaching our young people,” Geneva County Sheriff, Tony Helms said. “We need our older people to have that influence and to get back into the community, educating our young people. That’s the only way we are going to stop this.”

Those at the rally were asked to wear orange shirts and there’s a significance behind that. People are asked to wear orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to tell fellow hunters not to shoot them.

Fourteen years ago in Samson, a gunman killed nine people, before taking his own life.

One of those victims was James Starling. His parents spoke to the community about the impact gun violence has made on their lives.

“The hurt is still there,” Mother of James Starling, Jean Starling said. “God gives me strength each day, which makes it a little easier, but that pain is still there.”

“It’s a lot of pain that doesn’t go away,” Father of James Starling, Tommy Starling said. “It always stays with you no matter where you go.”

The rally promoted mental health treatment for Geneva County residents and gun safety, while also discussing the impact gun violence has made on the younger generation.

“It’s sad,” Geneva County NAACP President, James Ruttlen said. “This is going to be an annual event because someone has to make a stand and as NAACP president, I am going to make a stand in Geneva County. To help protect our younger generation.”