Two days ago I was miles away from home marching in the March for Our Lives.
For years I would read about marches happening in DC, and not care. I could not understand what these people thought they were accomplishing with gathering, chanting and signs. I know that was a bit of an ignorant attitude. What I did not know is that, while for the most part I supported most of those big marches, the issues were obviously not as close to my heart as this one.
I have a daughter, one who goes to school, one who I love with all my heart and my mother’s mind cannot accept the fact that when I drop her off at school, at 6 years of age, she is not safe.
Back when Sandy Hook happened, I did not have a school-aged child. I was horrified, hurt for the kids and their parents, but I could not relate to the degree I do now. I did not have a pit in my stomach every time I thought about dropping Lexi off at school. Alone and unprotected. Against anyone who decides they have had enough and grabs a gun, picks their unsuspecting innocent victims and creates a tragedy.
I cannot help but have that thought EVERY SINGLE DAY I take Lexi to school and EVERY SINGLE NIGHT I go to bed.
I force myself to entrust her into the hands of well-meaning kind teachers at her school, and push the grim thoughts out of the way, calming myself down with statistical percentages and chances.
Sandy Hook was awful, I think about it now and I get sick to my stomach. 20 innocent 6-7 year old kids… MASSACRED!
Parkland kids, however, managed to stir up something else in me and the rest of the country, as evidenced by the rise of our communities. They managed to stir up anger, to show us that something CAN and SHOULD be done (other than words), they made me say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH“. That’s what March for Our Lives was about.
I will not move on, I will not forget, I will not throw my hands out and think “Oh well, what can we do!?”
We can do something. We HAVE to do something. I started following the kids leading the movement on Twitter ( I hate twitter) the day that the shooting happened, I started reading more about gun laws and guns, almost obsessively. I did not want to forget and move on. I wanted to do my part in this change.
My part is small, I know. I can vote, I can talk to people, I can write blog posts and spread awareness among my friends, readers, family. But I have to do something, other than move on. And if we all do something, then we can make a difference. And that is what this movement is all about, coming together because ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
So I participated in March for Our Lives to have common sense laws in our country as a whole that put reasonable guns into the hands of responsible owners, and take military weapons off the streets and out of our access.
Being at what might be the biggest march in the history of United States ( numbers are not out yet) was surreal. Marching for something that I really believe for and have so many people around share those views was inspiring.
The mood at the March for Our Lives in Washington was somber. There wasn’t a lot of laughter. No one was talking. Not too much chanting was going on. People stood with their signs, listened to speakers, some cried, most were sad. I was sad. I held tears back a few times as the young people on stages shared their experiences and their thoughts.
Emma Gonzalez was strong and inspiring with her speech lasting the exact time that it took the shooter to kill 17 Parkland students. Most of it was a moment of silence, with tears streaming down her cheeks. I admire her, she’s a strong young woman. During the moment of silence, people raised their hands in a peace sign that was eerily similar to Hunger Games moment where one girl was standing up to a government that was allowing children’s death for their own entertainment.
One of the boys spoke about his little sister being murdered in a Sandy Hook massacre on the same day the little kids were excited to go make gingerbread house, not knowing they were walking to their deaths and how he was in class, not knowing that that his little 7 year old sis was being executed by a psycho who used legal weapons stored in his home.
MLK’s granddaughter came on stage with a phenomenal “I have a dream” speech for girl that young and got the crowd all riled up. I made sure to videotape it, because Alexis loves history and is obsessed with MLK and she loved watching it and listening to me talk about the March and then proceeded to give her own “I have a Dream speech”.
The MSD kids performed the song we composed after the shooting happened, which was very moving. I remember loving it when they first performed it on CNN Townhall and this was even more inspiring and strong.
Being in Washington during the March for Our Lives was something to remember. The cherry blossoms added to the ambiance and excitement of participating in such a big event. I only regret that Lexi was not with us, but at the same time she is still so young and while I did explain the issue to her, I had to skirt a few things to keep her innocent.
Did you join a local March for Our Lives? What do you think about the movement? How do you explain the issue to your children?