March 24, 2018 at 6:13 PM
Yes, there were some celebrities at the March for Our Lives event in Washington. But the most memorable moments came from the students.
The Chicago high schooler who was threatened with a gun and told to say nothing — who then shared her story with the world. The Los Angeles teen who lost her brother to gun violence. The Parkland survivor who brought the rally to a standstill.
We’ve collected these and other notable moments:
Emma González stands in silence
The final speaker of the rally stood in silence for several minutes.
“In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Emma González said. “Everybody who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands.”
González listed the students who died and then stood in silence, staring straight into the crowd. After a few moments, the crowd started to chant, “Never again!”
When the time elapsed, González told the crowd, “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
“I have a dream that enough is enough.”
Yolanda Renee King, 9, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., made an appearance with her own dream at the rally.
“I have a dream that enough is enough,” she said, “and that this should be a gun-free world. Period.”
She then led the crowd in a cheer: “We are going to be a great generation.”
“Today is the March for Our Lives, but it’s also the birthday of Nick Dworet.”
One of the survivors of the Parkland shooting went on stage to sing “Happy Birthday” for her deceased friend, Nicholas Dworet, who would have turned 18 on Saturday.
“It is also the birthday of Nick Dworet. Somebody who was senselessly murdered in front of me,” said 18-year-old Samantha Fuentes, who was shot by the gunman Feb. 14. Dworet was a senior at Stoneman Douglas and a competitive swimmer at the high school. He was planning to attend the University of Indianapolis on an athletic scholarship.
Fuentes asked the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” for her friend, and they did.
“I have been personally affected by the lack of gun control”
Mya Middleton, a 16-year-old student from Chicago, spoke about her own harrowing experience with gun violence. When she was a freshman in high school, Middleton went to pick up some items from the store when an agitated customer began grabbing items and causing a commotion.
“When he finally turns to me, he comes toward me, and I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t think,” she recalled.
“He pulls out this silver pistol and points it in my face and said these words that to this day haunt me and give me nightmares. He said, ‘If you say anything, I will find you.’ And yet I’m still saying something today.”
“Guns have long scared our children,” she said. “Join me in sharing my pain and my anger.”
“I learned how to duck from bullets before I learned how to read.”
Edna Chavez, 17, from south Los Angeles, lost her brother in a shooting. “Ricardo was his name. Can y’all say it with me?” she asked the crowd.
The protesters began chanting “Ricardo! Ricardo!” as tears began to stream down Chavez’s face.
“This is normal. Normal to the point where I’ve learned to duck from bullets before I learned how to read,” she said. “My brother was in high school when he passed away. It was a day like any other day. Sunset going down on South Central. You hear pops thinking they’re fireworks. They weren’t pops. You see the melanin in your brother’s skin turn gray.”
“This march is not the climax. It’s the beginning.”
“Welcome to the revolution,” said Cameron Kasky. One the most visible of the Parkland students, Kasky urged young people to use their voices to “create a better world for generations to come.”
“Politicians, either represent the people or get out. Stand for us or beware: The voters are coming,” Kasky said. “We must stand beside those we’ve lost and fix the world that betrayed them. … We the people can fix this. For the first time in a long while, I look forward and see hope.”
“The march is not the climax of this movement. It’s the beginning,” he said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the length of time that Emma González stood in silence.