On February 14, 2018, Anthony Borges used his body to keep gunman Nikolas Cruz from opening the door to a classroom, protecting the about 20 students hiding inside. Bullets struck the teenagers’ back and legs. What Borges did took courage, but Anthony doesn’t want us to call him a hero. In a striking New York Magazine feature, which interviews those who have survived school shootings in the last seven decades, Anthony opened up about his injuries and how he feels, physically and emotionally, after that day at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
Borges was in the hospital for two months, and while physical therapy has helped him, he still cannot run. He also hasn’t returned to school since then. “I’m doing homeschooling now,” he said. “I’m not sure when I’ll go back to school. I don’t want to; I don’t feel safe. I don’t talk about it with anybody – I get really upset. I can’t talk about it with my friends. I did what I had to do – that’s why I don’t like being called a hero. I want people to remember what happened as a miracle, from God.”
The entire feature, which includes photography from Michael Avedon, is an indictment of how we handle deadly shootings in this country. Just this year, we have seen 75 school shootings across the country. And though we talk about them as they happen, we quickly forgot and nothing changes. Gun control laws do not improve. Children continue feeling unsafe in schools.
“In the midst of this amnesia, we wanted to conduct an exercise in remembrance, seeking out the survivors of school-shootings from as far back as we could find them,” the article’s intro reads. “What, we wondered, could their memories teach us about our inattention? The people whose bodies – in many cases – won’t let them forget.”
Check out the powerful story here.