Hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets of cities and towns across the nation on Saturday for the March For Our Lives rally advocating new gun control measures. Crowds at the Washington, D.C., march were so large they could be seen from outer space by satellites.
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Amid all of the pointed signs and impassioned chants, two girls stood out for delivering the most powerful moments of the day. Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month who has emerged as one of the leading voices calling for new gun control measures, appeared at the rally in the nation’s capital. Gonzalez began by reading the names of the 17 students who were killed that day, then she stood onstage and remained silent, tears rolling down her cheeks at times, for six minutes, 20 seconds — the precise amount of time the massacre lasted. Six minutes and about 20 seconds,” she said. “In a little over 6 minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured and everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered.”
Watch her powerful statement below.
Another standout speech came from 11-year-old Naomi Wadler at the march in Washington D.C. Wadler organized the walkout at her elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia. Wadler told ralliers about the walkout she and a friend led at her school saying that their walkout lasted for 18 minutes, explaining why their tribute to the 17 students who died in Florida lasted for an extra minute.
“We walked out for 18 minutes, adding a minute to honor Courtlin Arrington, an African-American girl who was the victim of gun violence at her school in Alabama after the Parkland shooting,” she said. Wadler explained she was there to call due attention to the “African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper.”
Watch her remarks below.