SCRANTON, Pa. -- Emotional, inspiring, unifying. Those are just some of the words students from our region used to describe their experience at the March for Our Lives.
Students from northeastern Pennsylvania who attended the rally in Washington, D.C. said it was a life-changing experience, and some day when they read about it in the history books, they will be proud to say they were there.
This was the view students from had as they joined hundreds of thousands in the march for our lives in Washington D.C.
Louise Mariotti, a sophomore at Scranton Prep, was thrilled to have her demands to change gun laws heard across the globe.
The BBC reporter's tweet featuring Louise Mariotti with her sister and friends at the march has been viewed 30,000 times.
"It wasn't even about that fact that I was on BBC News going viral. It was about the fact that I was on BBC News going viral because I'm here fighting for my life and everyone around me," Mariotti said.
Mariotti was joined in Washington by her twin sister Maeve, who says hearing a speech about someone losing his twin to gun violence was heart-wrenching.
"I can't imagine what my life would be without her if I lost her to gun violence like he did. I don't know how I could go on," Maeve Mariotti said.
The students from Scranton Prep described the atmosphere in Washington as surreal, exciting, and emotional.
"You can't even describe it to other people because it leaves such an impact on you. Even after, I'm still feeling it today. I'll still feel it forever," said Frances Doherty, Scranton Prep freshman.
Both students from Scranton Prep and Hanover Area tell Newswatch 16 the march in Washington has inspired them to do one thing.
"I'm gonna vote. That's a big thing. My AP Government teacher registered us all to vote, and we're gonna make change happen," said Shyanne Wydo, Hanover Area senior.
Wydo says the March for Our Lives, organized by survivors of the mass shooting at a high school in Florida on Valentine's Day, was eye-opening.
"I heard a lot of speakers that weren't Parkland kids. They were just regular kids talking about their community's gun violence, and I was like, 'Wow, it's a lot worse than we thought,'" Wydo said.
Wydo and her classmate Bethany Hannon say the march calling on lawmakers to enact stricter gun laws was one for the history books.
"You had 5 year olds and 80 year olds just next to each other joining hands talking. It was incredible."
"I felt like I was part of something really important, historical," Hannon said. "I felt like there's going to be a huge change, and I feel like this is a movement."