March for our lives – a parents point of view

When I was in college we protested but never marched. We had our voices heard, but couldn’t really tell you by whom. Had strong opinions but mostly it was spoken to and heard by the students that all agreed. Wow, what a difference a generation makes.

My wife and I attended the walk on the Stony Brook University campus, a peaceful walk in just one location but it will be shared and spoken about and tied into the hundreds, maybe thousands in the US and the many walks across the world speaking as one voice.

Call it limiting the types of guns sold, call it stopping the selling of certain types of bullets, call it furthering background checks or whatever you would like, but I see something happening here that goes beyond that. I see our students, this generation standing up with a very strong opinion and a message that will resonate among every generation.

I sit here now listening to these “kids”, “kids” not anymore, young confident and committed adults speaking so well in front of so many. Their message will be heard around the world and so will the voices of those that walked at Stony Brook, Port Jefferson, Patchogue and many other local communities right here in our own backyard.

“we will change the world” was what David Hogg said at today’s walk in Washington DC. “We will change the world”. Think about that. We attempted to change the world with a T-Shirt, they are changing the world by speaking to the entire world on TV, social media, and through the hearts of many adults that understand that these events may very well have been avoided long before they happened.

I am all for what these adults are doing. My biggest concern in school was throwing a frisbee, maybe not the nobliest of goals, but it sure wasn’t being shot at. Safety was not my concern and for way too many students, safety in school is a day- to- day concern. I do not know how they can learn or teachers can teach under those circumstances.

Next week I am going to address High School students preparing for their career day. In that speech I will tell them that no matter direction they wish to go in their careers they will endure hurdles. That is reality. But, if we are focused on what we are passionate about the hurdles that they endure and overcome will make them even more committed to their purpose.

These adults you see speaking today will become our leaders tomorrow. Some may even find roles that they can take on immediately. We must embrace their passion to make this world a safer, more humane and caring place.

Thirty plus years ago Harry Chapin said, “charity begins at home” and that is still spoken about today. David Hogg said “we will make a difference” hopefully today will be remembered as the day that we all embraced that idea and all of us became the WE in “we will make a difference”

Brian Cohen

 

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