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Signs, Speeches & Kids- My Look at “March of Our Lives” Charlotte, NC

It was oddly fitting that the weather matched the tone of the day. Dark, grey dreary. It felt like the middle of January instead the middle of March. Spring should be around the corner, not hiding in the back pocket of some low pressure system from Canada. I guess same can be said for a movement of Change. Its out there somewhere, sometimes hiding behind rules and traditions, ideals, religion, you name it, but I like to think we all feel Change is out there. You just need to know where to look and or better yet, be willing to look at all.
Before I get too far please note, this is NOT a Political Post. I am not advocating for or against gun control. If you would like to know my personal views and thoughts on the matter feel free to e-mail me or call. I would love to chat. With that being said I feel its important to remind you I am a Mom of two boys in middle school. Two beautiful sons who I have had to have some tough conversations with lately on something I never could of imagined as a kid myself. When I learned of the Rally being held, I decided with my ever so emotional photographers heart to go capture the day and do my best to document objectively. This would be my first experience capturing an event this size on a subject this Raw in our world.
When I got there, I was most struck by the sounds of kids laughing, some running around and playing and climbing on a jungle gym to showcase some of their own creative art work. There were smiles, and hugs and people helping other people tape signs to their backs followed by selfies and more smiling it was an odd intersection of innocence and the reality of why folks were there to begin with.
When the speakers began speaking the tone changed A quiet fell over the area, emotions and expressions shifted as local high school students spoke from their heart followed by an emotional testimony from two twin sisters who were 4th graders at the time a shooter took the lives of 26 innocent people at Sandy Hook Elementary. Heads were shaking as we heard things like Hiding in the gym Sound of gunfire… I heard them say the words, but had a hard time comprehending them. I could feel everyone in the crowd was thinking the same thing I was, How is this possible? How can this happen and even worse, can it happen to me or to my own child? The answer is yes, yes it can and as heavy as that weight is on all of our shoulders its not going away any time soon.
Once these powerful speeches wrapped up the tone again shifted, as did the weather. Rain and sleet began to fall from the sky as kids lined up behind the March for Our Lives Banner. Yet it felt like a failed attempt from Mother Nature to further dampen the spirit of the day and it wasnt working. Kids began chanting with authority, as brightly lit umbrellas were raised into the sky. I found the contrast of the happy bright colors crash land into the harsh reality of the words written on the signs. Yet people remained focused, in unity as they marched on the cold wet pavement together. Out of thousands of people I only saw one man who was there to protest the actual protest but overall everything was peaceful.
So without further ado, here are photos from my eye of the day in no random order. You will see some posed shots, some unposed, plenty of signs, candid moments and expressions Oh the expressions stoic, honest, real, oddly happy at times and yet sincerely sad as well.
When it was over I walked away thinking of kids in general. Not just my own, but all kids on all walks of earth. Especially the students from Parkland Florida who were having their own rally in our Nations capital. It was a reminder that if you can change the path of someones life by just supporting them, then anything is possible. And honestly that’s what I believe the day was about. Routing for those who no longer can route for themselves. Give a voice to a kid who deserves to wake up tomorrow but wont. Route for those who might need our help in the future. Because no matter what side of the debate you are on the future is what connects us all. None of us are promised one, but at the end of the day we certainly hope there is one.

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