Columns, Opinion

American Protest: March to make a difference

On Saturday, I attended the “March for Our Lives” rally, an anti-gun violence protest that took place all over the world. At the Boston Common, I felt more empowered and hopeful for the future than I have in a really long time.

Lately, I have been pessimistic about the future of our country. It’s hard not to be when there’s a new headline every day that shows us going in the wrong direction and stepping so far away from all the progress we have made.

I am usually expressing anger or disdain for some awful politician or legislation. But this time, I want to take a moment to talk about how important this march was, and how impactful it was for me and my state of mind.

Attending the march was just what I needed to realize that a large majority of this country is fighting for the same things as me. It also made me realize that the generation growing up today is going to make a real change in the future.

When I was surrounded by thousands of people chanting and singing together, walking like one giant family, I felt like I was a part of something. I felt this joy in my heart because I was really a part of something that was going to make a difference.

It was a crazy feeling to know that what I was taking part in was literally making history. This march could be something future students read about in textbooks 20 years from now, and I am so thankful to have been a part of it.

Even better, the world was watching us that day, and we made a statement. During the entire march, helicopters were circling us, livestreaming the event for the entire world.

I saw people of all genders, sexualities, races, ages, ethnicities and religions on Saturday. I saw them all together, fighting for the safety of American citizens, and I felt hopeful that once we put our differences aside, we can make a real impact.

Of course, this march didn’t just take place in Boston. All 50 states held marches, and if you get a chance to look up the map of marches across the country, do it. It really stuns you how widespread this issue is for Americans.

Students are the reason these marches happened on Saturday. They organized it, and they are the people that rallied this whole nation to come together and demand change — just another reason I feel even more empowered.

I myself am not much older than the students who made all this possible, and sometimes it feels impossible to make a difference at my age. Attending the march with my younger peers made me realize we are making a difference, and it’s definitely not impossible.

If anything significant comes from this weekend, I hope that the people who refuse to acknowledge the need for change and draft legislation to fix this problem see that we are here and we are loud. And we’re not going away.

I hope they’re scared too. I hope the NRA watched this protest and realized there are very few of them and a whole lot of us. I hope they realized they cannot control the government forever, and when we chanted to vote them out, we meant it.

Most importantly though, I hope the children of America saw this and realized they too are capable of change, just like I did. Once we all realize our potential, amazing things will start happening in this country, and I am excited for the change to come.

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