Karyn ColeKaryn Cole Karyn Cole is the lucky mom of 2-year-old girl/boy twins, Mia and Miles. After teaching elementary school for over 15 years, she now spends her days trying to enrich her class of two and organizing the chaos that is her household. After bedtime, she enjoys baking, crafting, and watching bad reality TV.

I know you are getting letters of support from around the world, tweets from celebrities, and calls from important politicians.  You have more media requests than you can handle and are preparing to meet with our leaders in government.   Your plate is full and your hearts are heavy.  

I am just a regular 40-something year-old mom, no one important or powerful, but your actions have moved me so much that I feel compelled to write you. You have found strength in your grief to stand up for the issues that matter and to push for common sense gun reform in this country. You are inspiring and there is so much I want you to know.

First, I want to tell you that my heart breaks for each and every one of you.  What you have been through is unimaginable.  Not only did you lose friends, classmates, and teachers, but in one fell swoop the gunman also stole your childhood.  For my generation, high school was a time of innocence.  A time when the biggest stresses in our lives came from filling out college applications and worrying who to ask to prom.  Your shoulders have so much more to bear.  

You have been called the lost generation. We say “kids these days” are hooked on their devices, unaware of the world around them, but in your darkest days, you have proven us all to be so,so wrong.  You aren’t lost at all.

I want to tell you how proud I am of all of you.  This moment will be the defining moment of your lives.  And the way you have chosen to respond has impressed the entire country.  We are all learning from your courage and grace.

As an American, I am proud of your perseverance.  I am impressed by your knowledge of your rights, our government.   By your tenacity and fearlessness when speaking the truth to our leaders.

As a former teacher, I am grateful.  Unfortunately, we have seen time and time again that a teacher literally will give his or her life for his students.  Your actions will make it so teachers can go back to  planning engaging lessons instead of worrying about how to keep their students safe.  It will help those with a passion for working with kids to enter the profession unafraid.  

As a mother, I am hopeful that you will be the instigators of a change that will keep my little ones safe.  Thanks to you, I will be able to drop my children off at school without fear.  Thanks to you, they  will feel secure in their classrooms.  

Please, do not give up.   Do not let up.  Do not stop pushing to make your voice heard.  Use the tools at your disposal to keep gun control issues at the forefront as we elect a new crop of leaders emboldened to legislate change.  This is a tipping point and you are making change happen.

Your generation is our hope for the future.  Your voice is powerful beyond measure.  The Gen X-ers and the Millenials are right behind you, learning from you, cheering you on, and supporting your cause.  You are the beginning of a movement that won’t be ignored – the start of a change that will keep your children and mine safe.  And for that we will always be in your debt.

So though the words are not nearly adequate to express how I feel, I say again – from the bottom of my heart, thank you.  

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