I watched the 3-hour event live and I was initially puzzled of the silence from the beginning to the end of the silence like many people. But in hindsight, it was the most powerful and emotional moment for me as it uses time, an abstract idea in itself, to share the horror the MSD students experienced that tragic day. In merely 6 minutes and 20 seconds, the time since Emma came out on stage till she spoke again after the alarm rang and she broke her silence,“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.” Emma concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
If the #MarchForOurLives is to succeed, thousands and thousands of American students, youths, and adults have to keep on fighting for changes. While I’m less hopeful for adults’ abilities and determinations. Fortunately, today’s students and youths will become adults tomorrow and they will change the world!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead remains the top quote in my collection of Quotes I LOVE!
Again, here is Emma’s full speech transcript which I shared previously.
“In a little over six minutes, seventeen of our friends were taken from us, fifteen were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community, was forever altered,” she said. “Six minutes and twenty seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice; Aaron Feis would never call Kyra ‘Miss Sunshine’; Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother Ryan; Scott Beigel would never joke around with Cameron at camp; Helena Ramsey would never hang out after school with Max; Gina Montalto would never wait for her friend Liam at lunch; Joaquin Oliver would never play basketball with Sam or Dylan; Alaina Petty would never; Cara Loughran would never; Chris Hixon would never; Luke Hoyer would never; Martin Duque Anguiano would never; Peter Wang would never; Alyssa Alhadeff would never; Jaime Guttenberg would never; Meadow Pollack would never.”
Then she stood in silence. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She said nothing. The crowd watched, also silent. A chant of “never again” started, and then faded out. Emma still stood. Finally, the beeping of an electric timer rang out. “Since the time that I came out here it has been six minutes and twenty seconds,” she said. “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 concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
[credit: speech transcript mostly from New Yorker with some corrections made near the end of the speech.]
The speech video with subtitles.
March 29, 2018 Update: Vice News, “Hoaxers Say Survivors of Mass Shootings Are “Crisis Actors”” //”This isn’t a fucking conspiracy. This is real life, and people are fucking dying.”
Immediately after the tragedy in Parkland, conspiracy theorists claimed that the school shooting was staged, and that survivors were actors.//