PARKLAND, FL- As January comes to an end, a month that is remembered for its tragedy is upon us. This coming February 14 marks two years since the day that changed Parkland forever. Lives were lost and families permanently changed. As a tribute to honor the 17 lives lost, a 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduate has created the '17 Day Celebration' to honor an individual victim each day leading up to February 14. One victim will be celebrated daily by recognizing who they were and what made them unique.
Creator of '17 Day Celebration' Liz Stout, was a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas when the tragedy unfolded. Her classroom was one that was attacked, and she witnessed four of her classmates shot, including one that was killed. Carmen Schentrup was the classmate that lost her life in Stout's class. "I cannot even imagine the pain they endure around the anniversary," Stout said of the victims' families.
A year ago she created the '17 Day Celebration' as a way of honoring the victims. "Last year the families appreciated their sons, daughters and husbands being honored for the things they loved," shared Stout. The '17 Day Celebration' will continue into this year to celebrate the lives of those lost.
Stout is now in her second year at the University of Florida, majoring in political science and minoring in innovation and family youth and community sciences. February is a difficult time of year for her, but she chooses to remember and celebrate the special people that lost their lives on February 14, 2018. This year she is again inviting the community to join her.
"Anything that could make their (victims' families) lives a little easier during January and February is worth doing," said Stout.