Those who know me, know that I am not one to get physically involved in protest, marches or rallies. As an introvert, I'd prefer to write about them and not be part of crowds of people. But with this March for Our Lives movement, I found myself wanting to be a part of. These shootings have become too common in Florida and the people who attack our children, both with guns and with words (those who verbally attacked the Parkland students) and the non-action regarding this issue, just gave me that nudge to get out and join in.
So as a citizen of this great democracy, I joined in and went to the March for Our Lives Orlando, and it was an experience that I'd recommend everyone participate in.
Lake Eola Park was packed with an estimated 20,000+ people who were full of life, full of love and full of concern for the future. People young and old, of mixed cultures, beliefs, races and sexualities, joined together to support gun control and to unite in one strong voice demanding action.
The line up of speakers was inspiring. From Rep. Val Demings and Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, to Parkland students and other survivors of mass shootings, to advocates, moms and teachers, the words were strong and moving.
Keinon Carter, a pulse survivor, was timid but strong with his words against assault rifles and the cost of the weapon and value of peoples lives.
Amanda Marty, a Parkland student told her story of the fear of being in the school, of worrying about her friends in another building, and not being able to leave or go home for hours after the incident, brought tears to my eyes as she made me feel the fear she experienced and I envisioned that fear in my own children.
While all of the speeches were inspiring, the most inspiring part of the march was the crowd of people, Floridians who are united in a movement to make America safer. I stand with these amazingly strong students, teachers, parents, Floridians and U.S. citizens who say Enough is Enough.