March for Our Lives

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capitol

Today I went to the “March for our Lives” at the State Capitol. It was a cold cloudy day and the wind picked up the later the event lasted. I went to the rally with another friend and her daughter and as we approached the mall, we saw a sea of humanity weaving its way up the streets, waving signs and posters. We went up the side area and stood on the steps to hear the speakers. I don’t know how many thousands showed up, but it was a lot. The sketches below I did standing while observing the crowds and listening to the speakers. I picked up slogans from signs, quotes, and people themselves. The crowd was very quiet and respectful when students got up and spoke. It was emotional and difficult to hear their stories and pleas at times, yet, very powerful. Further into the speaker line-up, we had the privilege of hearing from the students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, whose hockey team was in our state for a tournament. You could have heard a pin drop, it was so quiet. A dad spoke first, detailing the heartache of the past events on Feb. 14 and the difficulty in coping. But he reminded his own kids that their survival enabled them to make good change in the world and that their friends would not be forgotten. A boy said “Never again should someone have to attend 17 funerals in one week”, another shared how they had to stay in a closet for 2 hours with a teacher, and a choked-up girl was sharing the horror of having to move on after the shootings, without her friend and classmate by her side. They worked on assignments together and turned them in with both their names listed, so she still lists her friend’s name on the assignments. My heart had broken for these people by then and the tears ran from my eyes. You see the news, the stories online, you watch the video clips, but it doesn’t prepare you for the personal stories spoken from kids who knew these other kids. They were there. And they are living as many families after after gun violence of many kinds: broken. My sketches convey a small amount of what I saw and heard, and much more resides in my heart and soul that I couldn’t put on paper if I tried. But I give these sketches as a small offering, that maybe in some way, change can happen. March2

March

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