Dear Brave Ones-
The moment you stood up, after being gunned down, will always be what I remember the most about what transpired at your school. I will never forget those who died, but thankfully, it isn’t just the tragedy that will stick with me. I will also be permanently marked by the courage of the survivors-by YOU–because you stood back up. The day you decided NEVER AGAIN, a spark of real hope flickered within me. I believe you. And the hope you ignited in me is precious. I promise, I will tend that spark.
I will work to be as brave as you are. I will try to risk more and fear less. And if it feels like I’m failing–I’ll keep trying to do what needs to be done anyway. That is what courage is. I see that in you.
I will stand with you. I will speak truth to power on your behalf–for all of us. I will not let anyone slander you for their personal gain. I will have your back, so you can remain upright as the winds of change blow. If we stand together, it will be harder for others to knock us down.
I will use my voice as a writer to foster love and inclusivity. I will not preach to you. I will not lecture you. I will learn from you. I will share my thoughts and questions and hope the person I am, resonates with the person you are. And if I do have things to offer, wisdom to share, I hope you find them when you need them the most.
I will use my knowledge and experience as a former special education teacher to keep other kids from falling through the cracks. I will be attending training to be a parent advocate in my school district to help support children in need and their families. I will attempt to be a part of the bigger solution, not just the fight for necessary gun control.
I will raise my children to understand their power and how to use it to make the world a better place. And how not to abuse it. I will not be perfect and neither will they–no one is. But I will try. I will try.
I am heart wrenchingly sorry for your loss, your fear, your pain. We failed you and I apologize for that. But you are putting your foot down. You are speaking up. You are demanding more. And you are taking a horrific moment and making it a movement. Because of your courage, the rest of us, the best of us, will follow you.
Kimberly Sabatini, Author