In my 91 years, I can’t remember a more inspiring sight than the millions of young people worldwide who gathered in 800 cities to join in the March for Our Lives.

I was unable to stop watching those clear-headed, articulate youngsters tell of their deep feelings of loss, and their equally strong determination to keep military-style weapons out of nonmilitary hands.

They seemed to have thought of everything: voter registration for 17-year-olds whose birthday comes before the election, and suggesting that they all form town meetings where they can question their elected representatives.

“We don’t work for them; they work for us” seemed startling, coming from teenagers, but these are not ordinary adolescents. They have been shot at; they have been forced to hide in closets, wondering if they were about to die, and they have been changed by it.

They have been awakened to a war being waged against them. They have lost family and friends to its violence, and they have become single-purposed. The gun lobby, in its remorseless proliferation of deadly weapons, has spawned its own remorseless enemy: these young, battle-hardened soldiers, who can remove from office, with their millions of voices, those controlled by the gun lobby.

These young people are well on their way to contesting the designation of those of us who served in World War II as “the greatest generation.”

Hank Beebe


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