Making a change; students march together to create a difference

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Thousands of people from all over the world come together as one honoring the lives taken in the heartbreaking  Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting while spreading peace and love in hopes to make a change.

March for Our Lives was a student-led protest in support of tighter gun control that took place on March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C., with over 800 additional events throughout the United States and around the world. Students and families from Patterson Mill and all over the country were brought together as one to peacefully protest and put a stop to violence all around.

Student organizers from Never Again MSD planned the march with the public organization “Everytown for Gun Safety” which is an American nonprofit organization which supports gun control and defense against gun violence. This event followed the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which was described by many media platforms as a possible tipping point for gun control legislation, The Stoneman Douglas High School shooting occurred on February 14th 2018, leaving 17 students killed and 17 more wounded. “This shooting struck the lives of every student that had to suffer the loss of their friends and even family leaving them with [no choice really but to suffer their losses, or make a change] for them,” said Patterson Mill senior Jillian Moore who attended the march, going on to say “this was their change.”

This march has inspired many students all around the world and continues to strive for the better protection of this generation’s students and citizens. Students were given the opportunity to freely express how they feel and honor the victims who lost their lives on February 14th, 2018. With the usage of signs and activities, Junior Abbie Smith states “Seeing this many students, organized and inspired by other students coming together as one, was amazing to see” expressing her inspiration and compassion for people working together to overcome what has been done and express what needs to be done. Student Jenna Beshara, sophomore, who also attended this march, states “schools are meant to be a safe and welcoming environment. Kids should not be going to school wondering if its going to be the day they die,” explaining that students, children and families of this generation should not have to fear losing their lives in an environment that is being promised is safe. “I want things to change, I want the government to take action. I don’t want ‘prayers and thoughts,’ I want gun control and school safety,” Beshara says that instead of words and so called “thoughts and prayers” she wants government to take action and make a change, because as she said “words won’t save children”

This march wasn’t just about solving the issues in the government and sharing their thoughts on what the government needs to be changing, as Abbie Smith went on to say. “Honoring the victims, the 17 lives lost, is what truly mattered to me.” This march was created to honor the 17 lives that were taken during this horrific shooting and their love and sympathy for the people who had to suffer these losses. One of the truly inspiring events that struck both Jillian Moore and Abbie Smith that took place during this march was when student activist Emma González led an emotional moment of silence to honor the victims whose lives were taken. First González stated all of the students’ lives that were taken as follows: “Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, Scott Beigel, 35, Martin Duque, 14, Nicholas Dworet, 17, Jaime Guttenberg, 14, Chris Hixon, 49, Luke Hoyer, 15, Cara Loughran, 14, Gina Montalto, 14, Joaquin Oliver, 17, Alaina Petty, 14, Meadow Pollack, 18, Helena Ramsay, 17, Alex Schachter, 14, Carmen Schentrup, 16, Peter Wang, 15, Aaron Feis, 37.” What followed was 6 minutes and 20 seconds that represented the total time it took for those lives to be taken. Breaking her silence, González said, “Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds, the shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle and blend in with the students so he can walk free for an hour before arrest.  Fight for your lives before it is someone else’s job.”

Students and families all around the world will not stand for the increasing amount of violence in schools. This generation has quickly become the strongest and most determined group of people that are prepared to fight for their lives. “This march was amazing. Its so inspiring to see so many students standing with each other, regardless of age, background and political views,” Jenna Beshara stated. This march has raised awareness, brought people from all around the world together as one, spread the word on what government needs to be changing and most importantly honored the victims whose lives were taken.

 

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