When a shoe is not just a shoe
Visiting the Holocaust museum in DC is not for the faint of heart. It's a powerful reminder of evil atrocities and the capacity of mankind to do the unthinkable. The worst part? The shoe room. If you don't know about the "shoe room", in it lies 4,000 pairs of shoes- baby, children, women, and men shoes. Shoes of victims from the Holocaust. Each pair of shoes represents a life gone. It represents one more lesson of #neveragain.
And the smell... it's a smell that will linger with you forever. One that begs you to remember. One that begs you to do better so their lost lives aren't just a foot note of yet another atrocity. I did not leave that museum the same person as when I went in. The shoe room can change you. It can sadden you to your very core. It can also inspire you to do more. To be more.
That's what these 7,000 pairs of shoes on the Capitol lawn represent. There is nothing more personal than our shoes. We walk a thousand miles in our shoes and only they truly know who we are and where we've been. They say you can't know someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. These 7,000 shoes will never be walked in again. We cannot walk a mile in these shoes. But what we can do is a walk a thousand miles FOR the lives these shoes represent. We must #neverforget. We must #marchforourlives. We must #marchfortheirlives.
A ban on assault weapons would not have saved all of these lives. But how many would have been saved with tighter gun regulations? How many more futures must be stolen before our legislators stop putting the will of the NRA first? How many more lives must be lost before we start placing meaning on them and do something?
On March 24th, there will be hundreds of marches taking place throughout the nation as the youth stands up to say "Never again do we want this to happen. Never again do we want to be afraid to go to school or a concert or a library. Never again do we want to go to a funeral for a victim of gun violence. Never again do we want our legislators to fail to protect us." In Tampa there will be a march at Curtis Hixon Park at 10am. Look at www.marchforourlives.com for a march near you.
Look at those shoes in front of the Capitol and make the choice to stand, fight, and march for those 7,000 that don't have the chance to do it for themselves.