PARKLAND (CBSMiami) — It’s a rallying cry as hundreds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas students wearing their school colors headed out of South Florida for Washington, D.C.READ MORE: Parkland Mom Remembers, Honors Memory Of Hero Son, Peter Wang, Who Sacrificed Self To Save Others
They are preparing for the massive March for Our Lives demonstration planned for Saturday to push for gun reform in the nation’s capital.
“It’s to show people there’s a huge following for gun control,” said student Victoria Contasta as she left on a Southwest flight.
It’s five weeks since their lives were turned around forever after a gunman stormed their school and killed 17 students and staff on Valentine’s Day.
” I really expect politicians to know how we are suffering,” said student Belen Bustillos.
History teacher Greg Pittman said this is a real-life lesson in civics.
“I teach them you are the future voters and you will be the future leaders,” said Pittman.
Southwest Airlines donated the airline tickets and the Gaby Giffords Foundation also funded the trip. Hilton hotels also donated the rooms the students will stay in while in Washington, D.C.
More students are scheduled to leave South Florida until Saturday.READ MORE: Former BSO Employee Julio Chang Faces Charges In Capitol Attack
For those who can’t leave but want to join in on the movement and march, students staying in South Florida, including survivors of the Parkland school shooting are holding a march on the same day called “March For Our Lives- Parkland.”
“The first step is the most important one and I think that is what we are doing Saturday, talking about that first step together with whole world is taking with us,” said Casey Sherman.
The South Florida version of the march will start at 10 a.m. at Pine Trails Park located at 10555 Trails End in Parkland. From there, marchers will walk to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
On Thursday, the stage was being set as 30,000 people are expected at the South Florida rally.
“We have no way of calculating the number of people who will be here, considering this is unprecedented,” said Todd DeAngelis.
The 80-acre park, a mile from the high school, is being prepped.
There will be several people speaking at the event, though the identities of who will be addressing the crowd is being kept a secret…for now.
“We are not revealing that yet,” said Sherman. “You might hear more about that tomorrow night.”
Hundreds of other March For Our Lives rallies are also happening. Click here to find the one nearest to you.MORE NEWS: Florida Fire Rescue Chief Fired For Not Forcing Firefighter Vaccinations