Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama sent a handwritten letter earlier this month to the survivors of the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., saying they have been “inspired by the resilience, resolve and solidarity” shown by the students in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“Not only have you supported and comforted each other, but you’ve helped awaken the conscience of the nation,” the Obamas wrote in the letter, dated March 10 and published Wednesday by Mic.com.
The former first family applauded the student activists, who have been vocal in their opposition to the National Rifle Association and lawmakers supported by the powerful gun lobby — as part of what has been dubbed the #NeverAgain movement.
“Throughout our history, young people like you have led the way in making America better,” the Obamas wrote. “There may be setbacks; you may sometimes feel like progress is too slow in coming. But we have no doubt you are going to make an enormous difference in the days and years to come, and we will be there for you.”
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s the letter @BarackObama and @MichelleObama wrote to the #ParklandShooting survivors. In it, the former president and first lady tell the teens that they’ve “inspired” them, and commend them on “awakening the conscience of our nation.” https://t.co/FOQYVguNFw pic.twitter.com/xEPHE6iUL2
— Mic (@mic) March 21, 2018
Police say the accused Parkland gunman, Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school, opened fire at Stoneman Douglas shortly before dismissal, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others.
There were numerous mass shootings during Obama’s presidency — including the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and 6 adults were killed.
The publication of the letter comes three days before hundreds of thousands of people are expected to participate in student-led “March for Our Lives” demonstrations around the country to demand action on gun control. More than 500,000 people are expected in Washington, D.C., alone. It’s not clear whether the Obamas will be among them.
Here’s the full text of their letter (via Mic.com):
To the students of Parkland —
We wanted to let you know how inspired we have been by the resilience, resolve and solidarity that you have all shown in the wake of unspeakable tragedy.
Not only have you supported and comforted each other, but you’ve helped awaken the conscience of the nation, and challenged decision-makers to make the safety of our children the country’s top priority.
Throughout our history, young people like you have led the way in making America better. There may be setbacks; you may sometimes feel like progress is too slow in coming. But we have no doubt you are going to make an enormous difference in the days and years to come, and we will be there for you.
Barack Obama Michelle Obama
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