In Falls Church, Va. parents and students honored Parkland, Fla.’s victims on Monday with an emotional candlelight vigil and rally, calling for even the youngest students to take action.
While there, WUSA9 found a woman who lived of one of the country’s worst school shootings in modern history.
One of the speakers at the Monday night rally was a Columbine High School shooting survivor.
"Another one would happen. And then another. And then, I have to admit I became a little like, 'I don't know what's going to be done,' and I kind-of became despondent,” said Salli Garrigan.
“Garrigan” is her married name.
She teaches Musical Theater in Northern Virginia, but on April 20, 1999, Salli Melfi (Garrigan’s maiden name) was a junior in Colorado's Columbine High School.
Garrigan shared her story with WUSA9 with a packed cafeteria at George Mason High School. The Monday night Falls Church action rally and candlelight vigil was hosted by the Virginia chapter of the pro-gun control group, Moms Demand Action.
However the 35-year-old said, speaking out is something she hadn't done in nearly two decades. She said she held in her grief, until Parkland.
"It was so eerily similar,” said Garrigan.
One major difference, she added, are Parkland’s students.
"I think it gave me more determination to fight,” Garrigan said.
She's now joined that fight for gun control.
"Gun legislation that is just common sense. Not common law, but common sense,” said the Columbine survivor. “That's all I'm looking for. And just, not taking away someone's rights but just looking for some answer that hasn't been answered for the last 19 years."
Organizers were overwhelmed by the Monday turn-out.
Other speakers included Carmen Lodato. Her mother, Ruthanne Lodato was shot and killed by the convicted Virginia Serial Killer, Charles Severance.
Before the Monday event began, Carmen Lodato told WUSA9, “I understand what it’s like to lose someone to gun violence and it doesn’t matter if it’s a random occurrence or a mass shooting, 96 people are killed by guns every day in this country. And all of them hurt, no matter what the circumstances.”