Let us pray with our legs, let us march in unison to the rhythm of justice, because I say enough is enough.”
— A Parkland shooting survivor.
Yesterday you sat in classrooms all over this country. Today you are marching all over this country, all over the world. Teachers, parents and other supportive adults are marching with you. We older folk marvel at your commitment and your resolve. We are proud of you. We cheer you on and pray that your efforts will bring positive change.
You are marching to demand that your lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools. You are relentless and persistent in your quest to end gun violence. You are standing tall, lifting your voices to proclaim “Enough is enough!”
Every day, 96 Americans are killed with guns. Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children between six and seven years old were killed by a gunman, 7,000 children age 17 and under have been killed by guns.
Today, thousands of you have gathered to call violence by its true name. You are calling out the adults. You are confronting the NRA. You are challenging all who put their own self interest above the safety of our children,You are marching today for those who died and those who live. You are marching for the children who will be in classrooms in years to come, little ones who still have the joy of innocence. You are marching for their lives. You are marching for them. You are marching for all of us, and we thank you. Our hearts are with you,
For each of you, I offer this prayer.
God who holds ouryoung in your arms of grace,
Make of us a people who hold our children in the highest esteem, who give them respect and encouragement, who take their fears seriously, who commit ourselves to their safety and protection.
Protect them, God, as they march for their lives today.
Help them to know that their resilience and persistence might just change the world.
Make every city where they march a welcoming place, filled with people that open their hearts to the message our children speak.
Assure our children of the love that surrounds them and of the support that enfolds them. Assure them of our love and respect for them.
Continue to embolden them to demand change.
Infuse them with the courage to stand and the strength to speak truth to power.
Grant them an extra measure of perseverance.
Guide their steps. Ennoble their conviction.
Calm their fears and soothe their anxious hearts.
And may their reward be a world free of violence, communities infused with peace, classrooms that surround them with understanding, acceptance, protection and learning.
For your deep love for our children, O God, we give you thanks.
For your compassion toward our young who have been so deeply harmed, we give you thanks.
For your comforting presence with friends and families who have lost people they love, we give you thanks.
For your tears mingled with our own as we mourn the loss of innocence our children have experienced, we give you thanks.
For your abiding protection and mercy in our violent and frightening world, O God, we give you thanks. Amen.
- Organizers of March for Our Lives expect millions of people to participate in today’s marches.
- Acting out of their profound grief, students from across the country are fearless, empowered and motivated to speak out today as part of the March for Our Lives movement that was born out of the Valentine’s Day shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 students and staff members.
- President Barak Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sent a handwritten letter to the students of Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School commending them for their “resilience, resolve and solidarity in helping awaken the conscience of a nation.”
- Today, there are marches in over 800 sites across the country where students are still “calling BS.”
- Marches are also taking place all over the world.
- Florida students have planned a voter registration effort as a part of the march in Washington, DC.
- The message of these students is “never again,”