Why I’m marching: Activists around the country speak out in their own words
Tony Morrison/ABC News(WASHINGTON) — In the wake of last month’s deadly shooting at a Florida high school, hundreds of thousands are marching in the nation’s capital and at rallies across the country today, demanding change so that the carnage in Parkland, Florida, will “Never Again” take place.
Thousands of students, teachers, parents and more activists came out for today’s “March for Our Lives” event in Washington, D.C., and at sister rallies around the country.
“Good Morning America” asked activists on the ground why they chose to march today.
Here is what they said, in their own words.
“I am marching for my friends that passed, and all children that have been taken from their families and friends because of gun violence,” Lauren Hogg, a ninth-grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, told ABC News.
Lauren, who is the sister of student activist David Hogg, continued: “I am marching because of the empty desk in my classroom where my friend once sat and the unfulfilled conversations about our futures that we shared. I am marching for my unsaid goodbyes and the future of America. I hope that things will change and one day we can once again feel safe in the places in which we should already be able to feel safe such as schools.”
Rebecca Boldrick, the Hoggs’ mother, told ABC News, “As a mother and a teacher I am marching because our schools need to return to being the sanctuaries they should be.
“I don’t want there to be any more senseless mass killings by assault rifles,” she added.
Brianna Fisher, also a student at MSD, said she is marching “so students can return to a place of safety and learning rather than violence and war.”
Jeremiah Godby, 24, said he stepped out in the nation’s capital today because “enough is enough.”
“This is not about Democrat or Republicans, this is about coming together and about finding solutions,” he added. “We are stronger when we are together and when we are united.”
Riyo, 15, a high school student marching in D.C., said she was out today because “no student should ever be afraid to go to school.”
Miami, Florida: ‘Enough is enough’
Much closer to Parkland, scores of activists stepped out at an event in Miami to show solidarity to those marching in the nation’s capital today.
Genesis Davila, the current Miss Florida USA, stepped out at a rally in Miami today, saying she is there “supporting all the children.”
“Enough is enough,” Davila added.
Briana Borres, also in Miami, told ABC News, “I’m here to march for all of those who have no voices left and we are here to support those who can’t support themselves.”
The rally in Miami also had students and alumni of Marjory Stoneman Douglas in attendance, including Catherine Zhao, who told ABC News, “I am here because I am a proud member of the Stoneman Douglas graduating class of 2014.”
Elsewhere around the country
Thousands of activists also stepped out at sister rallies around the country, slamming senseless gun violence and showing solidarity with students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school.
Hamdia Ahmed, 18, in Portland, Maine, told ABC News that she is out marching because “we are here to stand up against gun violence and for our leaders to step up to end gun violence.”
In Albany, New York, Kaelyn, 17, said she is marching “because I realize that I have a voice and that I have the power to make a change in this country.”
Katie Evans, 18, an activist in Little Rock, Arkansas, told ABC News she is out today “marching against gun violence.”
“I am marching for the safety in our schools, churches, just in general, all students, all people deserve to be safe,” she added.
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