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I marched for my life

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I marched for my life

Hartford Courant

Hartford Courant

Hartford Courant

Jayden Palermo, Staff Writer

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On March 24th, I attended the March for Our Lives march in Hartford, Connecticut. This march, like others across the nation on this day, were prompted by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 14 injured and 17 dead.

Being able to march, I have to say it was the most liberating experience of my life.

On this day, my expectations could not be labeled with one specific word, and if I had to pick a word to describe them, it would not actually be a word, but rather a simple phrase: all over the place.

Arriving in Connecticut’s capital, there were people everywhere. Cars lined the streets and swarms of people flooded the sidewalks, walking to congregate at the fountain where the march would begin.

There were all kinds of creative and informational signs around. I, myself, had a sign with a bill that was not passed about stricter gun laws on it, and on the back were names of children and adults that have unfortunately fallen victim to the gun violence epidemic in this country.

Then the march to the capital  started and we marched, with our heads high and our voices loud. A chant broke out and everyone began to yell, “Enough is enough”, while holding up signs that pictured children from the Sandy Hook shooting that took place in Newtown, Connecticut, and even some that pointed fingers at the NRA.

“The NRA has got to go, hey, hey! ho,ho!”

Many kept this specific chant going, seeing as how especially now, many people share a mutual mindset about the NRA when it comes to placing blame on the topic of gun violence.

“Being able to stand in front of 13,000 people, although it’s amazing, I do not feel like it is any different than standing up in front of a high school class and presenting or talking to a few people about a topic….” said Naugatuck High School graduate and activist, Tyler Suarez who helped organize the Hartford march.

“….Gun violence has directly affected me and my family, so speaking out against gun violence and demanding change is just how I’m honoring my aunt, Dawn Hochsprung, who was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School….She would have wanted me to stand up for what I believe in and fight for the thousands of other children and educators, and urban communities, and cities, that are all affected by gun violence every single day.”

Suarez exhibited such bravery and confidence while speaking, and standing up for what he so passionately believes in.

While marching I really absorbed my surroundings. There I was in the middle of 10,000+ people, thinking about the other marches that were going on that day, and not only did I feel in touch with the people around me, I felt in complete unison with every group of marchers around the country that day.

We resonated with one another, we came together, we made noise. And at 17 years old I could not feel more proud of not only myself, but my younger sisters marching beside me, and all the youth who came out that day in Hartford, Washington, New York City, Los Angeles and so many other places across America.

This experience just goes to show how many people really do believe in change; how many voices can come together to be one, and just how powerful we are. Change is coming.

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Jayden Palermo, Staff Writer

I am in 12th grade. I would like to become a Physical Therapist. I took this class so that I can report on important topics.

1 Comment

One Response to “I marched for my life”

  1. Bridgitte Prince on April 15th, 2018 9:05 am

    This was an excellent read! I was also at the March, with a sense of pride. Looking at the other side; yesterday, I attended the NRA sponsored movement at the state capitol. To my dismay, there were people with “White Supremist” signs. They said they need guns to protect themselves from us! Please make no mistake, the NRA has very deep pockets. And, their message is spreading. It is my belief that the NRA has a goal to put a REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR in Hartford to dismantle the stringent gun laws. Now is not the time to slow your roll. For all voters, this is a very critical time in America! Your vote matters.

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I marched for my life