Today, a few friends and I travelled to Washington DC to attend the march for our lives. I got back about an hour ago and decided that I had to write this post as soon as I could because I want to try, as best as possible, to try to capture the feeling that I had when I was there. Standing there, on the streets of DC, surrounded by over half a million people. People of all ages, races, sexual orientations, religions, genders, ethnicities with one commonality: we are all people who believe that change is possible. Because if we didn’t believe, then we would not have come out to fight. And yet, there we all stood, chanting and singing and loving one another.
From the minute Andra Day stood up and began to sing “Rise Up,” tears were already spilling down my cheeks. And those tears continued through PSA’s, singers, children and teenagers speaking in ways more powerful than any adult ever has, and they continued right up until Emma Gonzalez stood in silence for minutes so that everyone understood how 6 minutes and 20 seconds could feel like a lifetime.
My whole life, I have always been taught to look up to those older and wiser than me but today I learned that age means nothing when it comes to changing the world. Because while grown up men and women sit silently in congress, refusing to face the truth about gun violence in our country, an 11 year old girl stood up in front of a crowd of half a million people to share why she marched, why she cared, why enough is enough. The crushing sensation of listening to teenage boys and girls talk about how gun violence has torn them apart and how they had to put themselves back together, jagged and broken was just as overwhelming as having those same kids promise that change is near, hope is imminent, and that we have the power.
I understand that this blog is not meant to be political and I am sorry if this post alienates anyone but I hope anyone reading this can see beyond the political side, to the human side. This march was not about republicans and democrats. This march was not about one side versus another side. This march was about life. It was about ensuring that everyone knows that life should not be a privilege but a right. And if I could, I would go on for 1,000 more pages about the feeling of comradery that I felt with strangers that stood next to me, about how I have never felt so empowered in my entire life. But I’ll leave you with this: It comes down to us, the children, the next generation, it is our turn. Everyone else can move out of the way.