The March for Our Lives was an historic moment. Here are some unique stories from around the country.
Keith Gerbosi – Chicago
My wife went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, class of 1996, so the shooting that happened on February 14th hit a little harder than the (many) others that preceded it. I am familiar with the community. We have family and friends still in the area. We traveled down to Parkland about a week after the shooting and visited the memorials to the 17 people who were killed. Seeing the memorials and how broken the community is first hand was extremely sad. These types of things should never happen.
My wife was able to join with her fellow Douglas alums to form a Chicago Alumni Group that held an information session/fund raiser that helped raise money for the March for Our Lives. It was the least she could do – to help turn a tragedy into something positive.
The March for Our Lives was truly a special event. I don’t believe anyone over the age of 20 spoke, so it was truly a movement based on young people. My wife and I could not be more proud of how the youth / students / survivors of this tragedy have reacted. They have shown the country that things need to change and change now. And they aren’t waiting for adults to change, they are out there making it happen. As a Chicagoan who is extremely upset about the gun violence that happens daily in our beautiful city, I was proud that the Stoneman Douglas students teamed up with anti-violence groups from Chicago to make an even bigger impact.
The organizations that the Chicago Alumni Group worked with were Moms Demand Action, Cure Violence, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Strides for Peace, Collaboraction Teen Ensemble, and People for a Safer Society. If you want to get involved, I suggest you start there. And vote. Vote for candidates that support what you believe in.
As a parent, I want to make sure that no child should ever be in danger again.
Wilmette – Leanne Star
Here’s an image from the Wilmette march on Saturday. Approximately 170 people gathered at Glenview Road and Skokie Boulevard and marched north and then south of there, with supportive honking from passing motorists.
From Alabama – Irene
I’m writing to you at midnight from Alabama where I have been part of an astounding civil rights immersion tour. Speaking w the heroes and wise ones of an incredible time in US history when like the children today they gave their entire heart, soul and their very lives to change what appeared to be unchangeable in our country.
Now late at night in my motel I’m catching up on the speeches of these children on CSpan. They are eloquent beyond words and for once in many many months they make me proud to be an American. They are astounding. Below is a photo of little 9 year old Yolanda King, granddaughter of the great Martin Luther King on stage in Wash DC today. Here is a photo and her and her words.
“I have a dream that enough is enough,” King added. “And that this should be a gun-free world, period.” King then led the massive crowd in a chant, cheering, “Spread the word! Have you heard? All across the nation, we are going to be a great generation!”
From the Bay Area, Californa
Thoughts on SF March for our Lives- Michael Keer
- Getting to the City from Millbrae station we ran into others on the way. Many families with kids and high school students in groups. Positive energy.
- The weather was crisp and clear — it rained in the morning but was sunny by the time of the event
- The speeches varied from local teenagers that had experienced gun violence to the Mayor of San Francisco and Senator Dianne Feinstein, to a survivor of the Marjory Stonemason Douglas shooting
- Most memorable speaker was a woman that had survived the Columbine shooting — she told us to research our 401K’s and divest from any funds that invest in gun manufacturers — hit them in their pocketbook
- There were also some poets and musicians to add diversity and energy to the event
- Lot’s of signs that indicated people are angry and fed up with the killings and the political inaction in Washington.
- The crowd was large — perhaps into the 10’s of thousands — I was in the middle of the Civic Center grounds and had difficult moving around because the number of people
- The march was festive and went from the Civic Center down Market Street to the Bay — it was punctuated with a lot of protest chants like no more guns, enough is enough, etc.
- The police were out in force, some carrying fully automatic assault rifles — glad that they did not have to use them
- It took us most of the day — we left at 11:30 am and returned at 6:00 pm
Livermore – Patricia Munro
March for Our Lives in Livermore
The Tri-Valley rally and march was organized by students from the local high schools, supported by adults in the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton, and Dublin. The students spoke in turn, echoing sentiments heard around the country: calls for gun regulation and reminders that registering to vote and then voting matter. It was a gray, rainy morning, but attendees filled the bleachers, well over one thousand strong, wearing ponchos and carrying umbrellas. Attendees included lots of families—children in strollers and young children and the elderly. The oldest person was in a wheelchair. Her sign read “I’m 101 and I stand with the kids!” Marchers chanted “Enough is Enough,” “Kids Not Guns,” and “Hey, Hey, NRA! How many kids did you kill today?”
Marching is a start. But, like others across the nation, these kids are dedicated. Their group is “Our Revolution” and, with these dedicated young adults and the children rising up behind them, I am confident that our country will be in good hands.
From Los Angeles – Tracie May Wagner
At 8:30 in the morning on Saturday, March 24th, I awoke to the faint sounds of a chant, echoing from the streets below my 6th story loft on Spring St. in Downtown Los Angeles. I walked towards my living room, opened my window, and powerful and impassioned wave of energy filled my home, bathing me in a sense of hope, pride and patriotism; feelings I had sadly forgotten since that dreaded day, November 6 of 2016.
“Tell me what democracy looks like… THIS IS what democracy looks like!”… “Tell me what democracy looks like… THIS IS what democracy looks like!” This chant billowed throughout my neighborhood while I rushed to dress, put on my most comfortable marching shoes, gather my family and join my fellow protesters.
As I excitedly maneuvered my way through the crowd, with my sister, my seven year old nephew and good friend in tow, I noticed a seven year old girl named Kayh, proudly holding her handmade sign above her head. I introduced myself, told her that I loved her sign and asked why she was there. She replied “I’m here because I don’t like guns in schools and I don’t think that guns should be in school”. Wise words from the mouth of a babe… I then asked if there was one thing that she would want to say to President Trump, what would it be? And she said “I would tell him that I don’t like your ideas, and that you need to do better.” I smiled, and said thank you, Kayh!
As the crowd began to march up Spring St. towards City Hall, I was truly taken aback by the spectacular sense of solidarity and resolve within our community. We were all were there for the same purpose, and the energy that filled the streets was overwhelmingly fervent, positive and inspiring. Below are some moments I captured during the protest.
From Detroit, Michigan
From Ron Irwin
Photos: Courtesy of each contributor