“This is what democracy looks like!” chanted a group of fourth grade scholars as they stood together on Central Park West in the early spring sunshine on Saturday, March 24, joining over 300 members of the SA community and the estimated 175,000 people in New York City participating in the March for Our Lives. This movement, according to organizers, was “created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar.”
It was both heartbreaking and deeply inspiring to hear scholars chattering as we walked: they described lockdown drills as matter-of-fact events, expressed gratitude for school scanners, and drew comparisons to their lessons on the Revolutionary War. Like the student-leaders from Parkland, FL, they seemed to inherently understand the power of advocacy and of their own voices. And how desperately both are needed.
The March for Our Lives was a day for reflection and of empowerment, when parents could see the future through their children’s eyes and feel hope that the world would indeed be a better place because of them.