When silence is stronger than words
During the "March For Our Lives", the student and now activist against assault weapons, Emma Gonzalez, dedicated 6 minutes and 20 seconds of silence to the memory of the victims of the shooting at her high school.
Last Saturday thousands of people simultaneously took the streets in the whole country - and in some parts of the world - to demand the cessation of violence by firearms.
The student movement Never Again, organized as a result of the shooting on February 14 at Stoneman Douglas School, decided to take action after having joined the terrible statistics of violence in schools that have undermined the country during the last decades.
Through the so-called "March For Our Lives", student leaders - led by a student of a Cuban father, Emma Gonzalez - called on the entire nation to join their struggle.
Gonzalez had made herself known just hours after the shooting at her school when she addressed the crowd in Florida to say "Enough is enough!," and her character became a global icon, even shaking the foundations of organizations deeply rooted in national politics, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA).
During the event on Saturday, many expected the appearance of who is now perceived as a youth idol, and she didn’t disappoint them.
The survivor took the stage with her head up high and said to the audience: "Six minutes and about twenty seconds. In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community, was forever altered."
In this way, Gonzalez described "the horrific day that a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School," the Huffington Post recalls.
“No one understood the extent of what had happened,” she added. “No one could believe that there were bodies in that building waiting to be identified for over a day. No one knew that the people who had gone missing had stopped breathing long before any of us had even known that a code red had been called. No one could comprehend the devastating aftermath or how far this would reach or where this would go. For those who still can’t comprehend, because they refuse to, I’ll tell you where it went: right into the ground, six feet deep.”
After remembering the names of each of the victims and what they would no longer be able to do, Gonzalez stood with her chin high, in a stoic silence. When she spoke again, she explained that exactly six minutes and twenty seconds had passed since her speech began.
"Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and twenty seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour, before arrest," she said. "Fight for your life, before it's someone else's job."