The Internet Remembers Trayvon Martin On What Would've Been His 23rd Birthday

On February 26, 2012, America was shaken at the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. February 5 marks what would have been his 23rd birthday and Americans are coming together once again to honor him.

Twitter users have taken to social media to memorialize Martin, sharing photos, memories and social justice messages surrounding racism and gun violence.

Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman, a member and community watch patroller of the gated community where Martin was visiting relatives at the time. Zimmerman was licensed to carry a firearm and was known to contact authorities for his suspicions of African American males in his neighborhood.

He followed Martin at the discouragement of law enforcement and opened fire on the teen.

Related: Thousands Flood Philadelphia Streets in Support of Justice for Trayvon Martin

Zimmerman was acquitted for Martin’s murder in the name of self defense in July 2013, with the Department of Justice finding sufficient evidence to the contrary. Martin’s case was one of the first sparks of the now-famous Black Lives Matter movement, inspiring activists Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors to create the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and spawning a viral image protest of "hoodies up" — showing activists and celebrities alike wearing hoodies to challenge the racism behind the idea that a young black man dressed in a hoodie would make him appear threatening and the lack of legal repercussions for his senseless death. 

“Trayvon Martin should be celebrating his 23rd birthday right now, but instead, we're uplifting his memory and pressing forward with our movement for justice in his honor. RIP, Trayvon. We will never forget,” ESSENCE, a black woman’s lifestyle website, tweeted on Monday.