Apology Letter to 17 Kids

This is to the 17 kids who were murdered February 14, 2018. It wasn’t a “shoot up,” it was a murder. As harsh as that sounds, it’s the truth and it’s reality. We need to understand the gravity of this reality so it doesn’t happen again.

I just came back from the scheduled walkout that was meant to commemorate you. Truth is, 17 minutes, a minute per kid, is the literal least we could do. One minute to think about all of your lives, all of the opportunities you were going to have down the drain. One minute to think about your beautiful qualities and things you had to offer the world. You had goals, dreams, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, siblings, degrees, and so much more.

I’m sorry that our humanity took away your humanity in the matter of seconds. I’m sorry that our inability to live without violence has taken away your life. You’ll never again be able to feel the sun on your face, laugh over silly nothings, cry over a loss, hear a song that makes you smile, fall in love again or either for the first time. You’ll never be able make families of your own. Seventeen minutes can’t bring back any of those moments. Nothing can. Each one of you left you home that morning expecting to return. Some of you said goodbye and told your mom or dad you loved them, but some of you forgot and just walked out the door. Some of you might have been arguing with your sister or brother or parents and didn’t say goodbye at all.

This is a reminder to me that everything you do could be the last time you do it. Everything you say to someone could be the final words that you say to them. I wish today was a normal day. I wish the words “Florida Shooting” wasn’t all over the news. I wish those words weren’t flippantly spilling out of students’ mouths like they were talking about a math test or makeup. But they are. Out there on the field I saw people smiling and whispering to friends. How dare they! They are taking away the attention from the significance of your life… making it even less than a minute. I apologize on their behalf as well. You will never be able to get the proper goodbyes or the happy ending. The quote that says, “Everyone gets a happy ending. If you’re not happy, it’s not the end” is wrong. You got an ending, but not  a happy one. I’m so, truly sorry.