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Emma González stood silent for nearly 6 minutes during powerful March For Our Lives speech

During her silence, so much was said.

 

Bryan Rolli

IRL

Published Mar 24, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 8:40 pm CDT

Parkland shooting survivor Emma González gave a heroic speech at the March For Our Lives on Saturday that lasted six minutes and 20 seconds — the same time it took the Parkland shooter to kill 17 students.

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“In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone—absolutely everyone in the Douglas community—was forever altered,” she began her speech. “Everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands.”

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González described the “long, tearful, chaotic hours in the scorching afternoon sun” that she and other Parkland students and staff spent wondering what had transpired after the shooting. She recalled the “bodies in that building waiting to be identified for over a day,” and the confusion that swirled as the victims “stopped breathing long before any of us had even known that a Code Red had been called.” She listed the names of the classmates that died during the shooting.

And then she stopped.

González stood at the podium and stared resolutely at the crowd, which broke into a “Never again!” chant. At first, it seemed like she was struggling to regain her composure to finish her speech. But she stayed silent for several minutes until finally, a timer went off.

“Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds,” González said. “The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

Watch her powerful speech below.

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*First Published: Mar 24, 2018, 8:48 pm CDT