Across the country, people are spending time with loved ones, showering them with gifts, chocolate, and every other Valentine’s Day tradition. Today should be a day to show those you love how much you care. But for many in the Sunshine State, this Friday is a tragic reminder that those who were supposed to keep us safe failed Florida when they were needed most.
Two years ago, a vile, unforgivable killer walked into the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, shooting more than 100 rounds and murdering 17 victims in the process. The shooting forever altered the lives of the survivors and resulted in politicians and outspoken advocates coming out in protest against gun violence.
Today we remember those lost, and pray for those who’s Valentine’s Day will never be the same.
Here are the names we will never forget:
- Alyssa Alhadeff, 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
In honor of the innocent lives lost, Broward County Public Schools will dismiss students early, with many participating in a day of service.
Leaders across Florida weighed in, sending their condolences to the families affected by this tragedy.
Our state and nation continue to mourn the innocent lives that were taken two years ago in a senseless act of violence at @MSDHighSchool. In memory of those lives lost, the Florida State Capitol has been lit all week in the MSD school colors. pic.twitter.com/9eRK8503b3
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 14, 2020
My heart still breaks for the parents of those lost on this tragic anniversary.
We must never forget those lives cut way too short and continue to work together to protect our children from evil. pic.twitter.com/n4l1YKlwzd
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) February 14, 2020
2 years ago 17 innocent lives were lost far too soon. Every day we honor the memories and remember the victims of the tragic shooting at Parkland and their families.
Today, the state of Florida stands united with heavy hearts.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) February 14, 2020
Two years ago today, 17 lives were tragically taken from the world too soon. We must never forget the lives lost that day and honor them by working tirelessly to ensure these heinous acts of violence never happen again. #MSDstrong #ParklandStrong pic.twitter.com/RgHbdXuGdC
— Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis) February 14, 2020