September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose loved ones died by gun suicide.

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Catherine Allen

When I was a junior in high school, I went to school on Valentine’s Day morning fretting about whether I should wear pink or red and if I would receive a carnation from one of my friends. By that afternoon, my entire outlook had changed. A single gunman entered my school and began shooting. My sister hid behind a computer cart, and I crouched between chairs as the gunshots became clear. We sat in silence on the phone with each parent because we were instructed to stay silent, but the family group chat was flooded with “I love yous” because we did not know if it would be our last chance. My sister and I made it out, but 17 of my classmates and teachers were not as lucky. I was just 16 years old, having to mourn the loss of the people I saw everyday.

We should not be scared to go to school, practice our faith or go for a walk. I am so honored to share my story among this group of inspiring people. The support for gun violence prevention is palpable, and we can do so much together. Continue the fight.

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