The Parkland community came together to grieve at a candlelight vigil after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took 17 innocent lives.
Thousands of people from the area surrounding Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School came together to grieve the 17 victims whose lives were taken in a horrific mass shooting at the Parkland school on Feb. 14. The Florida community hosted a powerful candlelight vigil to remember the students and staff who were killed, and to ask the question why our lawmakers have sat idly by without instituting stricter gun laws. “President Trump, you say, ‘What can you do? You can stop the guns from getting into these children’s hands! Put metal detectors at every entrance to the schools!” Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed, told CNN. “What can you do? You can do a lot! This is not fair to our families and our children [to] go to school and have to get killed!”
While these parents grapple with the incomprehensible reality of having to bury their own children, they scolded those who don’t see the mass murder committed by former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, as a gun-related issue. “Don’t tell me there’s no such thing as gun violence,” Fred Guttenberg, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Jamie, said at the service, according to NBC News. “It happened in Parkland… What is unfathomable is that Jamie took a bullet and is dead.” Eighth grader Ava DiGilio, who could hear the shots from her middle school classroom, agreed with Fred’s sentiment that a mass murder like this one could have happened to any U.S. community. “People used to boast about how this was the safest town in Florida,” the 14-year-old said. “No place is safe anymore.”
On the stage at the sunset service were 17 four-foot-tall ornamental angels meant to honor each of the victims. They were lent to the town by Sunrise, Florida, a city just 10 miles south of the grieving community. The angels were first used to remember the children and teachers who were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Dec. 2012. “Unfortunately, we have to use them again,” Kevin Pickard, a Sunrise city worker, said. “We didn’t think we’d need them so close to home.” Absolutely heartbreaking. Photos from the candlelight vigil can be seen in the gallery above.
HollywoodLifers, please leave your thoughts for the grieving families of the victims below.