The March for Our Lives

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.  Over 850,00 people attended the central march in DC, with thousands attending other satellite marches in all fifty states, and in multiple countries.  This was the first big march I had ever attended, and it was incredibly moving experience.  I found that the march was put on incredibly well, with a good balance between celebrities and teenage speakers.  (Selfishly, I was quite happy to get to see Lin Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt perform).  Even though there were a ton of big name celebrities both attending and performing at the march, the emphasis was on the survivors, on the young people who were demanding change. 

Something that had worried me originally was that the march organizers would only focus on Parkland, Fl.  While this would have been understandable, it would have swept under the rug the epidemic of gun violence affecting young people of color at disproportionate rates.  The organizers acknowledged their privilege and used it to draw attention to the problems of gun violence faced by people of color.  I thought this was incredibly admirable.  I was also blown away by the diversity of the attendees of the march.  It is easy for me to imagine that this is only an issue for young people, but there were people of all ages at the march.  There was a great deal of teenagers, but there were also many older people. 

Something that I love about America is our penchant for protest.  I am well aware that every protest, no matter how peaceful, upsets a great deal of people.  Yet, there is something beautiful about a large group of people peacefully gathering to discuss what they want to change about the country they love and how they are planning on achieving it.  At the March for Our Lives, we were gathered in order to seek actionable change: common sense gun laws.  America is flawed, certainly.  There is a reason why we were gathered together to march on our nation’s capital.  However, the fact that we can gather together in order to request change should be a reason for hope, in both the American people and our future.