Emma Gonzalez Stands in Silence for Over Six Minutes at March for Our Lives

Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors who organized Saturday's March For Our Lives, stood at the podium in silence for 6 minutes and 20 seconds — the exact amount of time it took the shooter, Nikolas Cruz to take 17 lives and injure 17 others on Feb. 14.

Gonzalez delivered an impassioned, tearful speech at the march, where she listed the things her friends and classmates would never be able to do again following the Valentine's Day tragedy.

"Six minutes and 20 seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice," she said. She named a few other touching, personal things that would never happen again, before going on to a list.

"Alaina Petty would never, Cara Loughran would never, Chris Hixon would never, Luke Hoyer would never, Martin Duque Anguiano would never, Peter Wang would never, Alyssa Alhadeff would never, Jamie Guttenberg would never, Meadow Pollack would never."

At that, Gonzalez fixed her eyes forward and lapsed into exactly six minutes and 20 seconds of silence. Videos from the march show a silent, teary-eyed crowd, and Gonzalez herself can be seen crying silently at the microphone. A few cheers of encouragement rise from the crowd, until they realize what she's doing.

"Emma Gonzalez is standing in silence for 6 minutes, the same amount of time she and her peers sat in absolute fear and were shot down," tweeted one person. "To help us feel the eternity of that terror. Imagine that time, hearing the shots and not knowing if you'd live."

"Something truly haunting by watching Emma Gonzalez stand there are the #MarchForOurLives rally with tears in her eyes, completely silent," tweeted another. "Jesus that was powerful. Her silence & that look in her eyes spoke louder than anything else."

Marches across the country drew an estimated half a million people out into the streets in hundreds of cities on Saturday. Other speakers included more student survivors, parents, and activists, as well as Martin Luther King Jr.'s granddaughter. There were performers like Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Gonzalez was the last speaker scheduled for the day.


At the end of Gonzelez's powerful silence, a timer sounded at the podium.

"Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds," she said. "The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it's someone else's job."