WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCCO) — As many as a half million students from across the country are arriving in Washington for Saturday’s March For Our Lives Rally.

The movement is led by survivors from the Parkland, Florida, shooting, where 17 students died last month.

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Friday, ahead of the rally, a student from South High in Minneapolis urged lawmakers to make gun reform a top priority.

“This problem is happening in Minneapolis, Minnesota, also, And that we are frightened for our lives just as much as everyone else. And that it has to be something done about this,” the student said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar called the student-led protest inspirational and credited them with getting smaller school safety bills passed.

A group of passionate students from Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights arrived in Washington this afternoon. Their trip was funded by public donations.

After about 20 hours, a bus driver change and four pit stops, the students of Henry Sibley High School and their chaperones have safely and happily made it to Washington, D.C. Their hotel, just a short drive away in Virginia.

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But before the bus stopped, students already soaked in some sights from their seats. You could feel the excitement in the bus rise as they caught of glimpse of the Washington Monument, then the Pentagon.

Suddenly, the stresses of that overnight trip disappeared as the group switched their focus to getting settled in and prepared for Saturday’s March for Our Lives rally at the Capitol.

Friday night, they’ll work on the signs they want to carry to make sure their message will be seen and heard.

“We see so many statistics about those killed by guns, but it’s more than just — people are more than just numbers. There’s a face and a name, so I’m thinking signs that have the names of victims,” sophomore Derek Dean said.

“I really want to convey that this issue doesn’t involve political parties, it doesn’t involve age, it’s really a human issue. It’s for everyone, because public schools are for everyone and they need to be safe,” senior Austin Armon said.

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“One of the chants that a lot of the high schools have been using is, ‘The students united will never be divided,'” senior Devin Bauert said. “And I think that’s just so important as we go into this, trying to send the message that it’s not about political parties. It’s about our country and us as high school, middle school, elementary school students coming together.”

Jeff Wagner