The Wrangler

Moments of Silence

Jacqueline Pronk

Jacqueline Pronk

Nikita Kheni, Editor-in-Chief

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Moments of Silence

 

February 14th, 2018 — Valentine’s Day — will always be etched into history as one of the worst school shootings to occur. Fourteen students and three staff members lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

 

In the following nine days after the shooting, Stoneman Douglas survivors forced a CNN town hall, got Senator Marco Rubio to commit to being open to introducing legislation that would enforce law enforcement gun restraining orders, raised the age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, and forced reconsideration of the size of gun magazines (NYTimes). They pressured President Trump to call for a bump stock ban, inspired advertisers to boycott the NRA, and raised millions for the March for our Lives.

 

The shooting that occurred at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado back in 1999 used to be considered the deadliest shooting in the United States. Today, it does not even rank in the top 10 as one of the deadliest. Stoneman Douglas stands at the seventh worst mass shooting in modern United States history.

 

NPR reporter Susan Davis tweeted “A thought on 17 yo’s: It strikes me how unique their generation is: Born & raised in the 9/11 era, into a nation at war their entire lives, and already witnessed 19 of 33 deadliest shootings in America since WWII. Must shape/be shaping worldviews in ways we don’t fully grasp yet.”

 

Our generation has lived through many tragedies that have invoked much fear. With the current political climate, our country is deeply divided. But we are unified in our experiences. We grieve, but we also need to demand change.

 

Five Yorba Linda High School students assembled Moments of Silence to honor the lives lost at Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, March 14 during break in the center quad for seventeen minutes. Seniors Daania Kalam, Spencer Kim, Kelly Nguyen, Marco Gazich, and myself, Nikita Kheni, said a brief description of each student, teacher, and staff member that lost his or her life followed by a moment of silence and the release of seventeen white doves. The white doves symbolize peace. “A peace that we hope each soul will find. Peace that we hope will help their families and loved ones find as they cope with their loses,” said Daania.

 

We stood together to recognize each life lost. We also stood together to support the survivors through their grief as they mourn the loss of their loved ones. The students, family members, and community displayed their unwavering strength throughout this difficult time.

 

We would like to thank our fellow students, for joining us that day, for being united.

 

Most importantly, we are thankful to go to school and be in a district that supports our First Amendment rights. We appreciate our rights to peacefully and respectfully express ourselves. Without this support, we would not be able to be as strong, nor would we be able to stand up for what we believe in.

 

Whatever your political beliefs are, we can come together and agree that our safety at school should never have to be questioned. No one should ever have to live in fear that pursuing an education also means risking their life. We must use our voices, our opportunities, and our platforms to speak for the voiceless and to delve deeper into every event and individual. We must be the change.

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