FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Students from Parkland and across South Florida returned from Saturday’s remarkable march in D.C., saying they have just begun to fight.
The student-organized and lead March For Our Lives was one of the largest demonstrations in Washington D.C. history. Young people and parents returned to South Florida Sunday and spoke of the importance of the event.
“We accomplished the start of something huge. Not just a fight against gun violence, but an uprising of the youth of getting out there and taking charge of our government,“ said Robert Bonczec, a Stoneman Douglas High Student returning to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywoood International Airport.
“We had to go right up to their front door. If we just stayed here then they probably wouldn’t do anything. We have to make sure we let them know that we are here and we are fighting,“ said Niles Boothe, another student.
While those who marched were looking to move state and federal leaders, they also found the event moving.
“It was bittersweet, to see all the people there for smart gun laws, but at the same time, it could’ve been anyone of us going through that emotional time right now,“ said parent Theresa Boothe.
David and Stacy Riley said it was important that their 11-year-old daughter, Grace, be at the March, to be inspired.
“There is no stopping these Parkland kids. I’m really proud of them, they were so strong, there were 800,000 people there, and the March will continue,” Stacy Riley said.
Indeed, the students say their fight has just begun with an opening statement that was by all measure breathtaking.
“We really just wanted to be there in numbers, to show up and support and show it’s really not okay what’s going on, and that our representatives need to represent us as people,“ said student Jordan Shiff.
The students pointedly are reminding political leaders that those who aren’t already, will soon be of voting age, and speaking their minds at the polls.
There have been many mass shootings, at Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Colorado theatre shooting, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas, but the movement spawned by the shooting at Marjory Douglas High has been unprecedented in its size and organization.