students hold signs up during the "march for our lives"
students hold signs up during the "march for our lives"

March For Our Lives Anniversary

May 14, 2019

While Valentine’s Day makes its appearance for yet another year and while some are spending a romantic day with their sweetheart, others are grieving and remembering the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who died the same day last year. The amount of love for those fallen is tremendous, shown through memorials, protests, websites, organizations, etc. Their memory will never be forgotten for through the act of hate, was love. Love for their children when parents were reunited after the shooting, love for friends who both survived and passed, love for teachers who risked their lives, love for police and doctors who saved lives, and love for a world in which communities stood together after tragedy. “These Parkland students have already been able to make change that no one else could for decades,” said volunteer Carol Williams to the New York Times.

Of course, soon after, the organization March for Our Lives was formed by students. Now a year after their revolution, the students are proving their love over hate, making their message clear now more than ever. A large nationwide protest like the year before did not occur, but young activists showed the fight wasn’t over. Small protests around the country and young voters united together to work through what’s next in the fight. Websites were created to inform, text groups were made to keep everyone updated, and video chats allowed students to keep in contact with other activists around the nation. Even in the Grand Valley, an organization formed to create advocacy for students called Grand Valley Students United. They organized events to keep students in the valley involved in the nationwide protest.

With the loss of friends on their minds, activists around the country celebrated a year of student activism, even if the reason for it was heartbreaking. So much progress was made and accomplished but as shootings continued happening around the world, the organization never stopped working for the ultimate goal to fix what had been broken.

Along with that came the suicides of trauma victims, leading to an addition in the fight against gun violence. Students are now fighting for better help and counseling in schools, especially after such traumatizing events, to help anyone who may be struggling. “Having students go back to the same high school 2 weeks after 17 teachers and students were killed is cruel and unusual punishment for living through a mass shooting,” tweeted activist David Miles Hogg. Using twitter as a main way to reach a large audience, students have been writing how they have been affected, how to make a change, and speak out about their truths.

As one of the most well known organizations of our generation, March for Our Lives is creating an impact larger than us all. Its one year anniversary is a symbol of change and improvement for students and activism. The constant reminder to be kind and strong lives on and inspires many. It is through our youth that our world will survive.

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