Fourteen students and three faculty members from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, were killed last year in one of the worst school shootings in modern U.S. history. On the one-year anniversary of the massacre, their classmates and families want the world to know the victims will never be forgotten.
Many survivors were heartbroken and angry in the wake of the incident, scorning lawmakers for not doing more to prevent school shootings. A coalition of teen activists from the high school became the face of a new, younger anti-gun violence movement known as March For Our Lives.
“I don’t think older generations realize what an impact the shooting here has had on our generation,” David Hogg, a Parkland survivor and one of the most prominent figures of March For Our Lives, told NPR this week.
“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.”
Hogg tweeted Wednesday that he planned to take a few days off from Twitter around the one-year anniversary of the shooting, but urged people to honor the memory of his slain classmates with action.
“Please remember the people [who were] stolen from us that day,” he wrote. “They are why we fight for peace.”
Aalayah Eastmond was a junior at Stoneman Douglas when she witnessed a gunman open fire on her classmates. She recalled experiences she had shared with the slain students in a tweet Thursday.
“I miss having Orchestra with Carmen,” she wrote. “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!”
Emma González, another Parkland survivor and well-known figure within the March For Our Lives movement, noted that she and her friend had dyed their hair teal this week in honor of Carmen Schentrup, who had teal streaks in her hair the day she was gunned down at Stoneman Douglas.
“One year later, the pain doesn’t get any more bearable,” Jaclyn Corin, a senior at the school, tweeted Thursday. “We will miss you forever.”
Jaime Guttenberg was a 14-year-old freshman at Stoneman Douglas when she was killed during the shooting. Her father, Fred, has become an outspoken advocate against gun violence in the year since she was killed.
“I am forever haunted by my memory of that morning, rushing my kids out the door rather than getting one last minute,” he tweeted Thursday. “Did I say I love you?”
“It was not supposed to be the the last time I would see Jaime,” he wrote. “For those who still want to deny the reality of gun violence, my daughter IS Jaime Guttenberg. I will be visiting her today at the cemetery. Jaime, I love you forever and miss you every second of every day.”
The victims were mostly teenagers with their whole lives ahead of them: 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; and Peter Wang, 15.