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Classmates And Parents Are Paying Emotional Tribute To The Parkland Victims On The One-Year Anniversary

Classmates And Parents Are Paying Emotional Tribute To The Parkland Victims On The One-Year Anniversary
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While most people are celebrating Valentine's Day, others are mourning over the lives lost during the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida one year ago.

For the families and friends of the victims, February 14 will never be the same.

It's been one year since 14 students and three faculty members were killed after former student Nikolas Cruz opened fire in what is considered to be one of the most deadliest massacres in U.S. history, surpassing the Columbine High School massacre in April 20, 1999.

March For Our Lives, the student-led organization fighting for stricter gun legislation, is making sure the victims are not forgotten.

"On February 14th, 2018 the Parkland community lost 17 lives in a tragic and preventable act of gun violence," tweeted the demonstration group. "Everything we have done and everything we will do is for them."

The group planned to go dark for four days and mentioned an unsettling statistic.

"We will be going dark for four days from February 14th through the 17th. During that time, if past trends continue, around 400 people in the U.S. will likely be shot to death."

The thread was filled with support and love on the occasion of the anniversary.

Fred Guttenberg lost his 14-year-old daughter in the Parkland shooting. A year after he lost Jamie, the grieving process continues.

"It's still hard to come to grips with," he told WPTV.

"I sent my children to school. I sent my kids to school on Valentine's Day. Gotta get out the door. Gotta go to school. Go to school. Sent them out the door. Never in a million years as a parent do you think your kid is not coming home."
"She had a smile and a laugh, and gosh, I miss it."
"I don't know how or when this gets easier. People will say just, I don't think it does. I think that's a fake statement by people who don't understand what it's like to lose a child."

Tony and Jennifer Montalto also lost their 14-year-old, Gina, the same day. A later after she was killed, Tony expressed that he still can't believe their daughter is no longer with them.

"Everything we look at around our home, even around town, we see her ready to move on to the next adventure. So it's hard to believe that she's no longer with us."

Parkland survivors are also reflecting on the anniversary of the shooting and remembering their deceased classmates.

David Hogg, one of the outspoken figures from the teen-led March For Our Lives, told NPR this week:

"I don't think older generations realize what an impact the shooting here has had on our generation."
"I don't think people realize how big the school walkouts were and how many student leaders came out of that," he added. "I don't think congressmen are realizing what they have coming."

"Please remember the people we're stolen from us that day; they are why we fight for peace," he tweeted in part, on Wednesday.

Aalayah Eastmond, a junior who witnessed two of her classmates killed the shooting, mourned over the loss of her friends.

"I miss having Orchestra with Carmen. I miss Helena helping with Spanish homework. I miss Nick talking about swimming. We miss all of you. We will continue to honor with action!"

NPR reported that a year after the Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School massacre, the urgency for tighter gun laws has declined from 71% the day after shooting, to 51% a year later.

Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, told NPR:

"Not surprisingly, the results show that the outcry against gun violence has lessened from what it was immediately following the shooting at Parkland."
"Yet, there is a strong consensus that gun violence is a serious problem and action needs to be taken."

The names below are the fourteen students and three faculty members whose lives were cut short.

  • Alyssa Alhadeff, age 14
  • Scott Beigel, 35
  • Martin Duque, 14
  • Nicholas Dworet, 17
  • Aaron Feis, 37
  • Jaime Guttenberg, 14
  • Chris Hixon, 49
  • Luke Hoyer, 15
  • Cara Loughran, 14
  • Gina Montalto, 14
  • Joaquin Oliver, 17
  • Alaina Petty, 14
  • Meadow Pollack, 18
  • Helena Ramsay, 17
  • Alex Schachter, 14
  • Carmen Schentrup, 16
  • Peter Wang, 15

We will never forget.