President Obama wrote the blurb next to their names in TIME:
‘Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, and Alex Wind.’
He pointed to the inexcusable cycle of gun violence and mass shootings:
‘America’s response to mass shootings has long followed a predictable pattern. We mourn. Offer thoughts and prayers. Speculate about the motives. And then—even as no developed country endures a homicide rate like ours, a difference explained largely by pervasive accessibility to guns; even as the majority of gun owners support commonsense reforms—the political debate spirals into acrimony and paralysis.’
These kids show they are dead serious in their photos, but they still have a beautiful sense of humor. They responded to the president’s words with a tweet:
It took these young people to face down the NRA without fear, when adults looked the other way. These students looked into the camera and called their so-called legislative representatives to task for not passing easy gun measures. One such measure would be making the legal age to buy a weapon of war the same as that for a handgun, 21-years-old.
Another of the students, Jaclyn Corin, expressed the remarkable humility that the kids carry with them into the world:
‘Thank you @TIME and @BarackObama for honoring all of the Parkland students through your kind words #Time100 https://twitter.com/time/status/986968932602056704 …’
The 44th president gave these amazing kids their due:
‘This time, something different is happening. This time, our children are calling us to account.
‘The Parkland, Fla., students don’t have the kind of lobbyists or big budgets for attack ads that their opponents do. Most of them can’t even vote yet.
‘But they have the power so often inherent in youth: to see the world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions and cowardice too often dressed up as wisdom.
‘The power to insist that America can be better.’
Yet, there was no doubt about their intensity and determination, as one wrote “#NeverAgain:”
‘Thank you @TIME for this honor and an immense thank you to @BarackObama for the kind words. #NeverAgainhttp://time.com/collection/most-influential-people-2018/5217568/parkland-students/ …‘
Yes, something is different. This is how change feels. Many people fear change, just look at the number of death threats these students have received. President Obama continued his tribute to these fine young men and women:
“Our history is defined by the youthful push to make America more just, more compassionate, more equal under the law. This generation—of Parkland, of Dreamers, of Black Lives Matter—embraces that duty. If they make their elders uncomfortable, that’s how it should be. Our kids now show us what we’ve told them America is all about, even if we haven’t always believed it ourselves: that our future isn’t written for us, but by us.’
Twitter world burned up the internet with its response. Here are a few of our favorites below:
Featured Images via President Barack Obama’s Twitter Page.