PARKLAND, Fla. — It is a picture that has develop into emblematic of the Parkland faculty bloodbath: two terrified mothers outdoors Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive, certainly one of them a tall, weeping blonde with the black smudge of Ash Wednesday on her brow, the opposite a petite redhead crying in despair on her shoulder.

However the bond in that extensively seen {photograph} did not survive lengthy. The 2 girls quickly discovered themselves at odds — just like the nation itself — over gun management.

The redhead was Cathi Rush, who was desperately ready on Feb. 14, 2018, to search out out whether or not her 14-year-old son Brandon was OK. The blonde was Mechelle Boyle, whose three youngsters didn’t attend the highschool and have been protected. The ladies comforted one another in a second of anguish captured in a searing Related Press {photograph}.



Cathi Rush, who appeared in an iconic image with Mechelle Boyle after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, speaks as one of her cats comes up to watch during an interview with The Associated Press at her home in Coral Springs, Fla.


Cathi Rush, who appeared in an iconic picture with Mechelle Boyle after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College taking pictures, speaks as certainly one of her cats comes as much as watch throughout an interview with The Related Press at her dwelling in Coral Springs, Fla.
– Related Press/Jan. 28, 2019

“My coronary heart simply began breaking,” Boyle recalled in an unique interview with the AP because the anniversary approached. “Oh, my God, she would not know if her son is alive or lifeless. She’s right here crying and may’t attain him.”

Brandon made it out alive. However on that day, Rush was desperately making an attempt to get in contact with him, understanding solely from a couple of texts that the freshman was hiding underneath a desk. She hadn’t heard from him in practically an hour as she stood there amid crying mother and father, the wail of sirens and the chop of helicopters.

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Overcome with agony, Rush fell to the bottom, screaming. Boyle, a longtime acquaintance, pulled her up and into an embrace — the picture that was snapped by AP stringer Joel Auerbach and would seem on web sites, entrance pages and broadcasts world wide as particulars emerged of the 17 college students and employees members killed.

“In that second it was simply two mothers comforting one another, scared for his or her youngsters. Not just for their youngsters, however their youngsters’ associates, their youngsters’ lecturers,” stated Rush, a single mom of three.

After the photograph got here out, Boyle turned down all interview requests from the media till now, saying she did not lose a toddler and did not really feel she had something to say.



Cathi Rush reacts as she speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at her home in Coral Springs, Fla. Rush was captured an iconic photo showing her being consoled by Mechelle Boyle as they waited outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the shooting.


Cathi Rush reacts as she speaks throughout an interview with The Related Press at her dwelling in Coral Springs, Fla. Rush was captured an iconic photograph exhibiting her being consoled by Mechelle Boyle as they waited outdoors Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College throughout the taking pictures.
– Related Press/Jan. 28, 2019

Rush, 47, appeared on CNN a couple of days after the rampage, saying she hated the picture and felt the photographer had intruded on a personal second. She has since come to embrace the picture.

She had the photograph printed on sweatshirts that the household wore to the March for Our Lives rally in Washington and carried a giant banner bearing the picture. She made it her Fb profile image for a time, hoping it could spur change.

Rush, a faculty nurse, needs to see stronger gun management legal guidelines. She attended a couple of conferences of the group Mothers Demand Motion however discovered the activism solely traumatized her.

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Mechelle Boyle holds a newspaper with an iconic photo from the school shooting showing her embracing Cathi Rush as she speaks during an Associated Press interview in Parkland, Fla.


Mechelle Boyle holds a newspaper with an iconic photograph from the varsity taking pictures exhibiting her embracing Cathi Rush as she speaks throughout an Related Press interview in Parkland, Fla.
– Related Press/Jan. 30, 2019

Boyle, too, turned to Mothers Demand Motion and has attended each faculty board assembly for the reason that taking pictures. The 42-year-old owns a gun and served eight years within the navy. She helps gun rights however has additionally labored to move stricter gun management legal guidelines in some instances, saying it “made no sense to me” that the gunman was capable of purchase an AR-15 rifle at age 18.

“The fear that we felt — I see it on my face each time I take a look at the image,” Boyle stated via tears. “I do not ever need any mother and father to really feel that … watching them grieve and bury their youngsters.”

Earlier than the tragedy, the 2 girls have been by no means shut however at all times pleasant. Their youngsters had gone to the identical elementary faculty. Rush’s ex-husband coached Boyle’s son’s soccer crew.

A 12 months after the taking pictures, they’re not in touch. Rush declined to be interviewed with Boyle, saying she disagreed together with her on gun management and politics.



Mechelle Boyle, who appeared in an iconic image comforting Cathi Rush during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, cries as she speaks during an Associated Press interview about the anniversary of the shooting in Parkland, Fla. The bond in that widely seen photograph didn't survive long. The two women soon found themselves at odds over gun control.


Mechelle Boyle, who appeared in an iconic picture comforting Cathi Rush throughout the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College taking pictures, cries as she speaks throughout an Related Press interview concerning the anniversary of the taking pictures in Parkland, Fla. The bond in that extensively seen {photograph} did not survive lengthy. The 2 girls quickly discovered themselves at odds over gun management.
– Related Press/Jan. 30, 2019

Boyle stated that she texted Rush a few instances final 12 months to test in, however that they have not saved in contact on social media or in actual life.

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“She was very upset at me as a result of I used to be slightly extra pro-gun than her, and she or he wasn’t very pleased about that,” Boyle stated. “I positively pushed for legal guidelines, and I positively stated we want stronger legal guidelines, however I assume for no matter motive we actually did not keep associates on Fb or something.”



Cathi Rush, who appeared in an iconic image with Mechelle Boyle during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at her home in Coral Springs, Fla. Rush ultimately learned that her son Brandon was safe. But on that day, she was desperately trying to get in touch with him, knowing only from a few texts that the freshman was hiding under a table.


Cathi Rush, who appeared in an iconic picture with Mechelle Boyle throughout the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College taking pictures, speaks throughout an interview with The Related Press at her dwelling in Coral Springs, Fla. Rush in the end realized that her son Brandon was protected. However on that day, she was desperately making an attempt to get in contact with him, understanding solely from a couple of texts that the freshman was hiding underneath a desk.
– Related Press/Jan. 28, 2019

Rush, a fiery girl with a wry humorousness, stated the taking pictures did not unite the neighborhood, as some stated or hoped; it did the other. “This neighborhood has fractured into two factions now,” she stated — those that are attempting to show colleges into “fortresses” and people who need to crack down on weapons.

“They usually combat such as you would not imagine on Fb,” Rush stated. “It is gross. It is disgusting.”

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

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