Join us on June 7-9th for Wear Orange, as we unite in our call to end gun violence and honor the more than 120 people who are shot and killed, and hundreds more who are wounded and traumatized, every day in our country. Read some of the stories of those affected by gun violence below.

total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Nathan Thompson

On an ordinary day/ In an ordinary class/ A very unordinary event/ made ordinary lives/ Very unordinary. These were the opening lines from a poem I wrote after a fellow classmate shot our teacher Deanna McDavid, janitor Marvin Hicks, and then held our class hostage for half an hour. It is the expression of a 17-year-old kid trying to simplify the traumatic event he survived and make his feelings distant and poetic.

What I know today is that the recovery from gun violence is not distant or poetic, it is hell. The events of January 18, 1993 at East Carter High School ended two lives, taking them from their families forever. It impacted everyone at our school and in the community, the full extent to which we will never know.

Having your sense of safety/security ripped away, especially when young, can be devastating. My recovery story includes years of therapy, depression/anxiety that has at times negatively impacted work, relationships, etc., and a variety of other trauma-related issues.

I’m sharing my story to honor those who died and survived. I plan to do my part to ensure a future where people aren’t witnessing murders or being threatened by gun violence.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.