As we walk down the blocked-off street, the chilly air seems to urge us forward.

Despite the fact that there are people chattering and laughing, there is urgency under the surface. Everyone knows why we are here.

A woman chants, "Hey hey! Ho-ho! NRA has got to go!" Her voice will probably be hoarse in a couple hours, but I don't think it really matters.

So many emotions fight for space in my head. Frustration and anger, optimism and camaraderie. Will this time be different? I wonder, as I remember all the times nothing has changed.

Once we get to the place where people are the most concentrated, I start to feel a bit like a pinball. It's impossible to move one way or the other without running into someone.

We find a side street that is somewhat less crowded, and we end up next to a father reading Little Women to his daughter.

She is at the age when we learn that we won't live forever.

But I wish this was not the way she had to realize it.

Finally, the students take the stage.

And 800,000 people go silent.