NEW ORLEANS - Speaking to a couple thousand journalists from across the country Thursday, Trayvon Martin's parents shared their thoughts over the intense news coverage of their son's death.
The unarmed 17-year-old was gunned down in Sanford, FL in February.
Volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who claims he acted in self defense, is charged with second-degree murder in the case.
"This was our life. This was my son. This was not just a news story and tomorrow it's gone. I have to live with this the rest of my life," said Sabrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother.
But Fulton and Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, acknowledge that their own actions have helped fuel the coverage -- things like reaching out to Rev. Al Sharpton, who also spoke at the NABJ Convention Thursday.
Family members said they hope the spotlight will bring justice for Trayvon and others like him across the country.
The case has stirred strong reaction nationwide -- as some have sided with Trayvon's family, while others support Zimmerman.
"So many things could have happened to us if we had not did what we did, but we felt we had to be the spokespersons for our son. This is us showing him love," Fulton said.
Benjamin Crump, the family’s attorney, said it’s important to get the issues out into the open.
"That's why we're fighting so hard to get justice for Trayvon because we understand it's gonna ripple out," Crump said. "This case is important beyond Trayvon. (His parents) understand that."
That includes the police-involved shooting death of Wendell Allen– who was also unarmed -- in New Orleans.
The NOPD has turned over the findings of its own investigation to the Orleans District Attorney’s office.
Meanwhile, Martin's family and attorneys hope their own efforts will make a difference for the many cases outside Florida.
"(Trayvon is) gone and nothing we can say right now can bring him back, but what we do want is justice for him and we want to be able to help another family, so that this doesn't happen to them," Fulton said.