A 7-year-old girl upset by the personal attacks on Emma González, a survivor of the high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, has written her teenage hero a letter to thank her “for being so strong.” Since the shooting, González has been vocal in her support for increased gun control to prevent further tragedies, as well as in her criticism of the NRA and of the politicians who accept massive amounts of funding from the gun lobby. Hundreds of thousands listened to González’s speech at the student-led March For Our Lives rally in Washington D.C., in which she paid tribute to her fallen friends and called on the crow to “fight for your life before it’s someone else’s job.”
Lyra Sage Torres, 7, was one of many to become captivated by the charismatic young leader. But her mother, Amy Torres, said that her daughter was upset after watching a news program about the dramatic pushback González has faced from conservatives, who have attempted to diminish the young leader’s message by attacking her with unsubstantiated claims and even conspiracy theories.
So Lyra decided to write González a letter.
“I am sorry that people are being mean to you, but I will never be mean to you,” she wrote. “Thank you for being so strong. I hope I can be like you some day.”
— Jeronimo Saldaña (@JeronimoSaldana) March 28, 2018
“I wrote a letter because it would make her happy and because I am sorry that her 17 friends got killed,” Lyra told reporter Yara Simón in an interview for Remezcla. “Emma is good at protecting her friends. She is very good at trying to make people understand that she is sad because her friends died. If my friends died, I would be sad. She helps protect the world from danger, and she helps kids like me be more safe. I want to be like her.”
The family shared Lyra’s letter on Twitter where it went viral and eventually made its way to González, who tweeted back her own heartfelt response.
You can be whoever you want to be Lyra, but one of the best people in the world that you can be no matter how old you are is Yourself ❤️❤️ I’m honored to know you even this small bit Miss Torres 💖 https://t.co/YEARutmD1P
— Emma González (@Emma4Change) March 29, 2018
Read the full story at Remezcla.