To many, Emma González is a hero. In the weeks since Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, she and her classmates have pushed for gun control. But the amount of visibility she has garnered has also made her a target of pro-National Rifle Association (NRA) trolls. From someone doctoring an image of her to make it seem as though she was ripping up the constitution to Rep. Steve King insinuating that she has ties to communism because she wore a Cuban patch on her jacket, Emma has had many unfair criticisms lodged at her. A 7-year-old from Eugene, Oregon has seen it all go down, and she wrote a touching letter encouraging Emma to continue her fight.
“Dear Emma, I am sorry that people are being mean to you, but I will never be mean to you,” Lyra Sage Torres wrote in her letter. “Thank you for being so strong. I hope I can be like you some day.”
According to her mother, Amy Torres, Lyra has been captivated by Emma’s activism. While watching a segment on Good Morning America, she learned that some have attacked Emma online. “This news report initiated a torrent of questions from her that I did my best to answer by telling her about the school shooting and watching videos of the aftermath,” Amy tells me. Lyra wrote the letter – pausing at times to ask her mother for help spelling words – and made two beaded bracelets for the activist.
“I wrote a letter because it would make her happy and because I am sorry that her 17 friends got killed,” Lyra adds. “Emma is good at protecting her friends. She is very good at trying to make people understand that she is sad because her friends died. If my friends died, I would be sad. She helps protect the world from danger, and she helps kids like me be more safe. I want to be like her because she is very good at protecting the world and trying to make the world a better place.”
Lyra wanted to get the letter in Emma’s hands, so Amy reached out to her husband’s cousin – Jeronimo Saldaña, who has gone viral in the past for his activism – to help her. He turned to Twitter to try to get her story to go viral. Retweet it and you can put her closer to delivering her heartfelt message to Emma.