None of us could have dreamed that Valentine’s Day 2018 would change all of you in ways that most of cannot even begin to imagine. On that afternoon of February 14th, every one of you were drafted into a war for which you did not sign up. You became warriors, fighting for your lives and for those of your friends. Some of you died. Some of you lived. The ones who are still living lives are the ones who are now fighting, using your breath to speak out. Lots of us are standing behind you with pride, support, and love. I am in awe of your bravery. I am in awe of your courageous spirits. I am in awe of your energy and resiliency and determination. I am in awe of your hearts. You are the kind of heroes we writers like to create. But you, students, are the REAL heroes. Every single one of you: those who are raising their voices and those who lie still in hospital beds. Those too stunned to speak; those grieving. We are watching. We see you; we hear you. We are with you, dear Student Warriors, and we are proud. Much love and many prayers for a better world ahead . . .
Linda Oatman High, Author