I made a very last minute decision at 9 PM on Friday night to buy a plane ticket and go to Washington DC at 6 AM on Saturday morning to photograph and join the March for Our Lives protest in front of the U.S. Capitol. I would typically attend these type of political events to photograph the musicians and celebrities for news coverage, but not this time. This time I was there to support the kids.
My first stop was the Capitol Building where I saw a group of teens standing with signs. I met students from Guilford High School in Connecticut who traveled to attend the rally. Claire Keanna is pictured above with the sign #NeverAgain one of the strong mottos for the march.
The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have rallied a nation of concerned pupils, parents, teachers and citizens in a united effort to make legislative changes to make schools safe for children and teens. They lived through a tragedy and are now standing up and making a revolution happen. No child or teen should have to stand up in front of a crowd in Washington and talk about how they lost friends and beloved family to gun violence.
It was a beautiful day in DC and I was in awe of the scene upon arrival as people were marching toward Pennsylvania Avenue by the thousands to join the protest. Handmade signs and t-shirts could be seen all around. I know this is not just a “gun issue” and mental health plays a huge part in the conversation but nowhere else in the developed world do students get gunned down while going to school to get an education. Something needs to change in our system.
I was very proud to stand with 800,000 other Americans to support these kids in their efforts for change. I can only hope the youth of America will be inspired to VOTE in the future and fully participate in our political process. It’s hopeful to see what the future holds.