We Marched for our Lives. It is #enough
In awe, inspired, hopeful #enough. We Marched for Our Lives in DC, yesterday.
More than 20 years ago, in response to a relative surviving a carjacking, I gave a contribution to a handgun control group. From that donation, which may have been my first political contribution, I received a pin. I wore that button in DC while standing with my children and their generation growing up and believing that school shootings are considered normal and want it to stop. This is not normal. I can’t even identify with this burden. It is #enough. My generation couldn’t fix the issues so let the children lead the way.
Supporting the Second Amendment, Not the NRA
I support the right to bear arms. Hunting and sport and the right to protect oneself is important to me. Yet it is unfathomable that children are dying and a political lobbying group is controlling the United States of America’s President, Senators and Congressmen. It is time to #VoteThemOut. We boarded buses from Baltimore to DC for the March for our Lives.
Change is Here
Upon exiting the bus in DC, we were in a mix of students and families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. They were strongly represented. A classic Bob Marley song was blaring in the streets. We were part of something really big. Change is here.
I was completely inspired by the crowd size, the excitement in the air, the kindness of the large security presence. The sun was shining on us. The Cherry Blossoms are blooming… and the movement by the kids is in full bloom. I am proud to follow their lead because my generation has failed.
Speeches by Parkland and Sandy Hook survivors, Martin Luther King Jr.’s granddaughter and others were inspiring, heartbreaking and courageous. Yet, all of their experiences should have never happened. I was overwhelmed with emotions when we saw the children from Sandy Hook, they have grown so much over the years. For me, the Sandy Hook massacre is still raw. The children of Sandy Hook were the same ages of my own children. My husband and I had the luxury of raising our children in a bubble, yet the Sandy Hook tragedy forced our hands to tell our children that evil exists in the world. Through the beloved Fred Rogers, as in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, we were able to have age appropriate conversations with our young children. Thanks to Mr. Rogers we taught the kids, “always look for the helpers.” The helpers are their teachers, police officers, firefighters, the first responders.
Music Sends Powerful Messages
There were many celebrities loved by my kids and their generation and I felt old. Had this event been held when it should have been 19 years ago during Columbine, Bruce Springsteen would have probably taken the stage. I heard my kids’ favorite artists yesterday and for the first time, I really listened to the lyrics. Our kids have a lot of positive entertainers in their playlists. Music is a wonderful way to send a powerful message.
Like many, I was incredibly moved by Ben Platt from Dear Evan Hansen and Lin-Manuel Miranda from Hamilton when they took the stage to perform “Found Tonight” which honors the Parkland High School survivors and their work for the March for our Lives. Just last Saturday, my daughter and I were on Broadway seeing Dear Evan Hansen. Last week, we were filled with raw emotions because of the strong messages from the show. Yesterday, my daughter and I stood together and tears rolled down my face again, because of the urgent need to march on Washington, hearing new powerful lyrics:
And when our children tell their story ….
They’ll tell the story of tonight….
Raise a glass to all of us/
Tomorrow there’ll be more of us
Telling the story of tonight.
The Kids are the Leaders
There were no politicians on the stage. We were listening to kids. They made us cry. They made us cheer. They made us laugh. They made the world stop and see that changes are coming and change is here. Several students appeared to be testing the waters for future political campaigns. This one issue, sensible gun control, which is one of my non-negotiable issues when voting, I am ready for these kids to lead the fight all the way. #VoteThemOut and #VoteThemIn
The United States Capitol, “Thank You for Marching”
We had a long walk back to our buses, one with a Parkland School survivor. As we walked though SE Washington, I noticed the sun shining down on the Capitol. This iconic building houses our “leaders” who are in bed with the National Rifle Association. The NRA controls our legislators while our children are executed, this is not what our forefathers imagined when writing the Second Amendment.
As we walked by several homes, we saw signage in front yards including tributes from Martin Luther King, Jr and a sign “Thank you for Marching.” To the children I say, “Thank you for Leading.” I am inspired to #VoteThemOut because it is #enough.