By Elizabeth Thorne
On March 24, I was lucky enough to be able to participate in making what I am sure will be history.
My family is from a politically mixed family, and we understood that for us this was not about being conservative or liberal, it was choosing between life and death for millions of children, my sister and I included. I marched because recently, three of the high schools in my area received threats of a shooting. Even though there were no physical wounds, I have never been put in fear like I was — knowing one of my best friends was in a building where there could have potentially been a shooting.
The fact is, children should not be scared to go into a school building, because they are supposed to be a safe place for children to learn. And yet so many men and women with their assault rifles have shot down that safety.
Once I got to the march, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people that came to be supportive, just like me. There was a moment where all the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, faculty and parents walked down through the crowds, and I had the privilege of handing a tulip to one of the students, who thanked me for coming and saying how much it meant to her.
In that moment, everything about February 14 became so real to me.
Before, I thought that Florida and shootings were far away, but here was this girl who had been through this and was now going to make change happen. There has never been anything more terrible and inspiring than that.
There was another time during the march when one of the speakers asked who in the crowd’s life has been personally effected by gun violence. All around me, I saw hands fly up, and again I was brought to tears for the loss so many people have felt because there were no background checks to buy an assault rifle. I am aware that is not the only solution to the issue, but the statistics backing how much it will help are hard to deny.
Marching for my life was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life, and I’m so glad I got to help make history on March 24.
Elizabeth Thorne is a ninth grader at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, Virginia. She is a member of River Road Church, Baptist.