Today is the day students are walking out of schools to demand tougher gun legislation.
On January 17, 1991, General Norman Schwarzkopf addressed a different group of young people, many of them also 18. Those young people were armed to the teeth. To those kids, marching into a fierce battle that opened Desert Storm, he said some words that have a strange resonance now.
“You are a member of the most powerful force our country has ever assembled,” he began. He meant the military. The military is strong. Grassroots are stronger. Have you ever tried to pull up grass by its roots?
“You have trained hard for this battle and you are ready….I have seen in your eyes a determination to get this job done…My confidence in you is total! Our cause is just! Now you must be the thunder and lightning of Desert Storm. May God be with you, your loved ones at home, and our country.”
This isn’t Desert Storm, when we called on young people to be brave and scary and inflict shock and awe on another country. This is students fighting for their own lives, inspiring shock and awe within their country.
Every battle is different. Every battle requires courage from those on the ground.
Go kids. Go.