To the students in Florida who refuse to stay silent after one of the most traumatic things they have ever endured, you are my heroes. You represent the strength and bravery that some of our representatives could only ever dream of having. You have made your voices heard with dignity, power, and an intense amount of resilience: for that, I thank you.
As I reflect on my own thoughts and emotions from the past week, I can only imagine what you have felt. We as a nation have let you down, we as citizens have let you down, but most of all, we as humans have let you down.
There is never a time, in my eyes, that a child or a student should ever have to endure the pain and emotional stress you have been put through. With this being said, I could not be more proud of how you are allowing your sadness and anger to fuel your movement and your mission to help end the astronomical number of mass shootings in the United States.
Oftentimes, our generation is labeled as lazy, incompetent, and selfish. However, what you have begun has proven to be just the opposite. You are active, brave, and selfless. You are using your voices for a purpose that spans an entire nation of over 300 million people. Knowing that there are people my age and younger that are willing to continue this fight gives me an infinite amount of hope for the future ahead. I believe that we can be the generation of change.
To those who are upset that people are too quickly "politicizing" the situation, I truly do not understand how one could not. Our level of gun violence in our country surpasses every other nation in the world, and to the average, logical human, they would view it as a problem that needs to be addressed. A problem that requires a real solution. A problem that requires a certain degree of change.
Change can be intimidating, but you want to know what is even more intimidating? Your blatant disregard and care for the toddlers, children, and adults who lose their lives due to gun violence. Want to disagree with the exact number of "mass shootings" in the U.S.? Fine. Want to disagree with the fact that there is "nothing we can do" except send our thoughts and prayers? Then we clearly have a difference in morality.
To the students in Florida who have begun this incredible movement, I applaud you. I will stand with you. I will support you. Thank you for shaking up American history and for advocating for such a necessary change. I could not be prouder of my generation, and of these students.