By Julia James
On Saturday March, 24th 2018 the city of Philadelphia took part in the March for our Lives movement to end Gun Violence. The Philadelphia march was just one of an estimated 450 marches that took place over the weekend.
My friends and I were just four of the millions of people that took part in these marches, all for one common purpose, change. Although it was the negative effects of gun violence that led to having these marches, participating in the march overall was an uplifting, inspiring, and empowering experience we'll never forget. To be surrounded by a city full of people fighting for the same cause as you, and hear the speeches given full of emotion it's extremely inspiring.
The streets were full of posters held up with messages promoting change. Even people at our train station had their posters in hand. My friends and I made posters of our own as well. Many people stopped us to ask for photos of our posters, as well as thanking us for taking part in the cause.
The atmosphere was just so positive and supporting. From the moment we got off the train, we had goosebumps looking at all the signs and people. There were so many people, but it felt like we were all one, all there for one reason. My friends and I have held a strong opinion on the topic of gun violence, and although many people have challenged us on it, participating in the march only made our feelings stronger.
People have said getting kids or teens involved in politics too young isn't a smart move, however, we are the future. It's important to hold a strong opinion and fight for what you think is right. However, these marches were not limited to just teens. People of all ages attended and voiced their opinions. Even famous people took part in the D.C. march, using their platforms to promote and spread the message we are trying to get across.
Seeing the turnout to all the marches, we are confident this cause will not die down. Our voices will be heard and changes will be made. Enough is Enough. Not one more.
By Riane Lumer
United. Empowered. Determined. We stood. 17 minutes of silence was the least we could, as we memorialized the victims of Parkland Florida and protested against gun violence.
Organized completely by students for students. In hope for change and the betterment of our futures. For the betterment of society, and for the betterment of safety in the United States.
Following the tragedy on Valentine’s day, frustration filled students as they wanted some way to show their desire for change and felt unsafe. Many went to the principal's office, others talked amongst each other.
The date March 14, 2018, was the set date for the national walk-out in commemoration of students as well as the political advocating against guns. In particular, my school, Lower Moreland High School chose to honor the victims as well as protest gun violence, a much broader protest than desiring a ban on guns, greater background checks, specifics as such.
However, the generalized term of the protest, “gun violence” did not mean people did not have stronger stances or even more lenient views. The initial purpose of the walk-out for my school was to focus more predominantly on memorializing those who were victimized by the unnecessary calamity. Therefore, the term was essential in order to bring more of an audience to participate.
Begin at 10 AM, wear orange in respect of the students, walk outside the school along the designated path, listen to the names called by those who organized the march, and stand for 17 minutes in complete silence. One minute per victim.
Sounds very minimalistic to honor those killed for only one meager minute each, however, the commemoration of each student could not be quantified and the 17 minutes seemed right for the school to participate in as over that amount could lead to impolite chatter.
There we stood. 17 minutes silent. Silent besides the names called in the beginning, the whimpers, the sniffles, the tears.
People held posters high and strong, orange shirts worn with great dignity, we walked out. And we would do it all over again. We ARE the future generation, if there are gonna be changes made our voices must be heard. Because we are leading an uproar and will not be ignored. We the adolescence will make a difference.
It is almost impossible for me to put into words how powerful the March For Our Lives in Washington D.C was. I attended the event with a group called the Bucks County Youth Council, a teen group in bucks county affiliated with the Bucks County Links Incorporated dedicated to grooming teens into tomorrow's leaders today.
Our day started off rough with the delay of our bus, but improved quickly when the bus arrived to JFK early, and our chaperones bought each us matching shirts to rep the cause. We made our signs, zipped our coats, and were finally ready to march.
While on the metro I couldn’t help but think about the history cemented into the concrete of the capital, all the way from Martin’s March on Washington to the most recent Women's March in 2018, and I knew in that moment that we were going to be apart of history. Anytime a person or a group of people can bring a crowd together to unite around one a common goal is impressive--but when that group of people are high school students, who have picked themselves up from something so tragic and turned their story into more than just a statistic but a revolution.
The students from Stoneman Douglas High School are an inspiration to kids like me and all over the world. The whole crowd could feel the passion in their voices when sharing their stories. You could literally see the tenacity in their cause by just the simple look on their faces. These kids aren’t joking, and they certainly aren’t afraid of a challenge. The issue of gun control in America is one that has crippled society since the authoring of the constitution itself, and while it is no longer 1787 Americans are still allowed the same freedom with weapons that they were when African-Americans were deemed ⅗ of a person.
And while in past years the issue of the second amendment was deemed a strictly political matter, the intellectuals that spoke at the march made it clear that this is no longer about politics, it’s a matter of life or death, it’s about the bigger picture. And while it makes me so happy to see students my age getting their voices heard on such a monumental level, I couldn’t help but think about the kids who have, and continue to live through vile acts of gun violence everyday, and these kids don’t get the same amount of likes and retweets, because of the zip code on their mailboxes, and the color of their skin.
But what was so admirable to me about the students of Stoneman Douglas, was that they got on that stage and said to the world that they know they did not start this fight, and that where they come from had a huge factor in the platform they were given--but they choose to share their stage. They said in their speeches that they are going to use their privilege to help the black and brown kids, and use their resources to speak the truths of the students who have been silenced.
The crowd surrounding me was amazed. I heard someone in the crowd say “ wow, this is the generation that is going to do it,” and after hearing Martin Luther King’s granddaughter come out and say “I have a dream that enough is enough” I knew that this march was going to change things.
This march made me proud to be 18 in 2018. I had always been invested into politics and dedicated to social justice, but this march sparked something different in me. It wasn’t that it inspired me to do more, because I know that there is always work to be done to better society, but this march showed me that there is no reason why I can’t make a difference in this world.
17 kids died because in America everyone has the right to bear arms. 17 mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers are without their loved ones because in America it is easier to get a gun then it is to obtain cold medicine.
I am so proud to have stood with over 800,000 people in Washington D.C on March 24th, and I am so proud to be of the generation that gets congress to pay attention. We are the kids of America, and we will use our first amendment rights to make sure that guns are put into the hands of only those who are worthy of the responsibility.
My name is Aly Chronister, I’m a senior and I live in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.
On March 24, 2018 I participated in March For Our Lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I marched for my uncle’s son who passed away due to gun violence in 2009 and for my two brothers to feel safe in school. I have a 13 year old brother who is autistic and he is in seventh grade, and my other brother is only nine months old, I want them both to grow up in a world without fear of gun violence.
I’m 17 and I will be turning 18 in June so I registered to vote at the march, I’ve never felt more powerful. At the march I saw a lot of teenagers with very strong voices and opinions, adults who were telling us how amazing we were and how they will always stand behind us, and young children with signs that broke your heart.
One little boy’s sign said “It’s my birthday today, make sure I get another!”
I also met a nine year old girl who made her own shirt, it said “guns are dumb,” she talked to me about gun violence and Donald Trump through over half of the march. She made me have hope in our next generation to continue our fight for gun control. She was very intelligent, sweet, and very mature for her age, I will truly never forget her for as long as I live.
The march affected me by letting me express myself, my opinions, and letting me use my voice to stand up for what I believe in. Gun control has been important to me since Sandy Hook, when a gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults. This topic should have went through in 2012 when this tragedy happened. Now, here we are 6 years later, on February 14, 2018 and a gunman took town 14 children and 3 adults.
The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida organized all these marches and I’m so proud of them. I’m proud of myself and all of the other students, children, and adults who are standing for gun control. I’m going to stand for gun control until I take my last breath, I will never give up on this fight because I’m tired of seeing children fear for their lives. This march has forever altered my life and our voices will just get louder and stronger as time goes on. I love all of the people I’ve met on this experience and we’re just getting started. It is truly a life changing, unforgettable experience that I will cherish for the rest of time.
Submitted by our members as well as teens across the world.