Empty boots on State Capitol steps raises awareness of veterans’ suicide rates
Families and friends of veterans that died by suicide were encouraged every day this week to place the boots of their loved ones on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol. The week-long commemoration was initiated by Operation 23 to Zero, a non-profit started by local Minnesota veterans that raises awareness about the suicide epidemic facing veterans. An average of 20 veterans die by suicide every day, and the group hopes that this gesture will call on lawmakers to improve mental health resources available for veterans. Around 100 boots of deceased soldiers were placed on the steps by the week’s end.