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The March For Our Lives experience

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The March For Our Lives experience

Caroline Franklin, Editor-in-Chief

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After what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in February, I found myself appalled with the complete lack of action taken by the government. Delta, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kroger, and many other prominent U.S based businesses took a stance on the issue in the weeks following the incident and made changes in their policies to follow suit. I understand the basics of government, the different branches and the efficiency at which things can be done; I aced my government class in ninth grade. But what I fail to understand is the lack of action.

I have never been one to attend political demonstrations. Often, I am too afraid of being hurt or having to face a scary situation. March for Our Lives, however, was something I felt called to attend. For weeks before the event I imagined every worst possible situation- a counter rally gone bad, terrorist event or something even worse. I had to fight my parents to let me go, but nevertheless on March 24th I was on the MARTA at nine in the morning headed to the Civic Center.

North Springs Station was blooming with brightly colored signs, their positive messages filling the air with hope and a common cause. I was happy to see friends from school, supportive parents and grandparents and even children. There was no antagonism- no jeering or yelling, not a snicker or rude word was heard- nor did I see any throughout the day.

When we arrived at the march, I ran into a woman who sold me a few buttons that were supportive of the cause. Donned with my new buttons and poster that reads “Thoughts, Prayers, Action,” I navigated my way close to the stage and the position my friend and I found  ourselves in was incredible considering the masses of people behind us. Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard was shut down, packed with people shoulder to shoulder standing under one cause. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas spoke, civil rights icon John Lewis spoke, and the young people who organized the entire march inspired us with their resolve.

It was time to march.

My friend, Lauren, and I had to jump over a fence onto a staircase next to the World of Coca Cola to get to fellow marchers. When we approached  the street, signs in hand, a woman handed us both a small bouquet of brightly colored flowers that matched the vivid sight of posters lining the streets. The marching was slow at first, as volunteer peace marshals guided us down Centennial Olympic Drive NW, as they chanted “What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like” and “This is what Atlanta looks like.” A band that was playing in Centennial Park joined us, matching the chanting in perfect time. Bystanders held up signs, one said “I am so glad you are our future,” and another said “God bless the peaceful.”

Approximately 70,000 people attended the Atlanta MFOL. My individual impact may have been small. But, the sheer masses of people that attended marches all over the nation caught attention, demanded action.  I am proud of being part of that.

About the Writer
Caroline Franklin, Former Editor-in-chief

Caroline graduated from Milton in 2018 and currently attends Loyola University- Chicago. She was part of The Eagle Edition for three years.

 

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