I wanted very much to march last year with my sisters both at home and around the world. I didn't because I wasn't in a location that held a march.
So, I had never marched before.
I grew up in the seventies. The world was so very tired of marching. And of demonstrating. And of protesting.
We didn't march. We shook our heads with mock disdain at all of the ills in the world, but we didn't march. We became lazy and complacent. We put our heads down and we pushed forward but we didn't march.
And then came Columbine.
My sons were 11 and 9 then. I remember thinking it could have been them. It could have been my children.
Nineteen years ago. Nineteen.
And nothing has changed.
Today's young people have never known a world without school shootings. Active shooter drills and lockdowns are an everyday part of their lives. When I was in school, I worried about fire drills. They worry about gunfire drills.
Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Pulse, Orlando. Las Vegas. Fort Lauderdale Airport. Charleston. Aurora. Eaton's Centre. Bloor and Yonge. Parkland.
Movie theatres. Churches. Malls. Concerts. Parks. Restaurants.
SCHOOLS. So many schools.
Today I marched. In the bitter cold. I hate the cold. But I marched anyway.
Today I let the youth of the world lead me. Today I walked with them and today I walked for them. Today I marched to remember and today I marched to say "no more."
I marched for the kids and I marched for their parents. I marched for every single person who has ever been touched by gun violence. I marched and I remembered Albert, a friend of my parents who was gunned down blocks from his home in South Florida while out to dinner with his wife. I marched for my future grandchild. May he/she never know what an active shooter drill is. I marched to add my voice and my body to the chorus and the throng.
I marched to remember sanity and to remind myself that together we can change the world.
It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old will dream dreams, Your young will see visions. (Joel 2:28)