By Nicole Yu '18
On March 14, tens of thousands of students from schools across the nation marched in solidarity with the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. During this tragedy, seventeen people lost their lives and another seventeen were injured, making it one of history’s deadliest school shootings. The impact of this horrific event has affected more lives than can be reduced to sheer numbers, and has prompted a much-needed push for stronger gun control. It has encouraged many young people to join the conversation fueled by the recognition that guns and gun control don’t just affect adults: they affect everyone.
Notre Dame’s leadership group, Lighthouse, organized the optional school march to begin at 10:00 am on March 14. The walkout would last for 17 minutes, one minute to honor each of the 17 lives lost. Many students showed up at the meeting to discuss details of the walkout and what we, as members of the student body, wanted to do to honor the lives lost, stand with the victims, and advocate for stronger gun control. Our Latinas Unidas Club dedicated a meeting to making posters and signs for the walkout. The room was filled with students as well as a news crew interviewing students about what we were doing and why it was important.
I, along with the majority of my fellow students, took part in the walkout. Knowing that millions of students across the nation were taking charge and using their voices to speak up about a very big issue in our country was one of the best and most empowering experiences of my life. Groups of students nationwide dressed in orange and filled with hope carried signs and grabbed the attention of every newscycle in the country. Students started and organized this walkout, showing the power of youth united for a common cause.
We are a generation hungry for change. We are the ones who will use our voices to speak up against injustice and stand up for what is right. And on March 14, I, along with many of my classmates, took my place as a member of the generation that will shape the future.