We Stand Together: March for Our Lives

On March 24, 2018, I walked alongside 800,000 people in Washington D.C., at the March for Our Lives. From the moment we were able to catch a sight of the Capitol building, an endless amount of goosebumps took over me. Signs and posters flooded my eyesight as we made our way through the crowds, people chanting “never again” and “hey hey ho ho, the NRA has got to go” rang throughout the air. It was a beautiful day, but I won’t lie. It started with a hint of anxiety, and I was worried because most of those close to me were worried for me. They were worried the topic and tensions of the march would rise.

The March for Our Lives was forged by the students that survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018. Following the shooting, multiple students, including Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, came forth and challenged various politicians, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and our current gun laws, which many accused of being part the reason the shooting was able to happen in the first place.

The march was unlike anything I had ever been a part of. Everywhere I turned I was amazed by what I saw; fathers holding their kids on their shoulders to see better, veterans advocating for sensible gun laws, young couples holding hands as they marched side-by-side to name a few. What started as a day filled with uncertainty ended up being one of the most beautiful displays of human compassion and activism rolled together.

I marched for my best friend who would have turned 23 this June. I marched for my mom to feel safe in her job as a teacher. I marched for my best friend who is an educator as well to some amazing students right there in Washington D.C. I marched for my teachers who became mentors over the years for them to continue doing their job of teaching not worrying over the next possible school shooting. I marched for the Jewish lives that were taken at Parkland, as I too am Jewish and was able to hear from some family friends of the victims the night before. I marched for all the other victims of Parkland.

The night of the march I went out to dinner with two of my best friends that live in Washingtonh D.C., and one is an elementary teacher there. My best friends is one of the strongest human beings I’ve met, we’ve been through a lot together and we’ve raised each other up after difficult events in our lives, but I felt helpless as I saw tears roll down her face. Without a doubt in her mind, she would take a bullet for her students. My best friend should not have to choose one day whether to teach about photosynthesis or which student she will have to shield from a gunman. I hope nothing more than to see change happen so that she never has to face that decision, so that no more parent has to worry about dropping their child off at school every morning.