Tuesday, 03 April 2018 00:00

March for our lives

PARKLAND, Miami.
A moment in time February 14, 2018, has sparked a movement, 20,000+ gathered in Parkland “ the soul of the marches” as it has been called. The place where the shootings that took the lives of 17 students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School took place.

 I wanted to be there, at the place where it all took place, to hear the voices of students, the classmates of those who were killed, the parents of those students , to feel the climate of a community which is grieving  and at the same time is coming out of  that terrible loss with a great sense of determination, a community which out of their loss and their pain , is reaching out to others in solidarity. What I witnessed was a resurrection story...

And all of this is happening in the context of a country which is greatly divided, a country where so many live with a sense that things are “getting worse”. But hope is springing in some places of the country where elections of government representatives are showing a new path. And hope is being reborn in the young who have taken a clear role as leaders. And these voices are being heard and respected and welcomed.  Parkland has sent today to the world waves of solidarity, of compassion, of barriers being broken, confronting a political system which is broken, with valor and determination.

It was impressive to hear these young voices speak with such clarity and determination, It was painful to hear the voices of the two fathers who lost one a son one, and the other a daughter…. The classmates of the students who were killed: “I march for Meadow Pollack…I march for my little brother Alex Schacter…I march for my best friend Gina Montalto…”

All of these voices interspersed by well chosen music like John Lennon’s Imagine: 

“You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us, and the world will be as one”…And the well known song “We are the World” –“We are the world, we are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving…

One important component of this event was the many tables that were placed in strategic locations inviting those not registered to vote, to do so. The legal age to vote is eighteen in the US, and Seniors are eighteen now. And there quite a few young students with a sticker on their T Shirts that said: "I have registered to vote today”. I couldn’t help it but give a big hug to the young man who was next to me. He smiled back and said: that you! 

I believe that there is a future that is already unfolding: the young and the old  guided by the young, will move  forward, with determination and commitment, and the world will be a better place for us and for our children.

I had to be in Parkland today, I could not not to…

Patricia Stockto, in Miami

 

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