PARKLAND, FL- No matter how much time passes, February 14 will always be a day that profoundly impacts our community. While most people in other parts of the country have moved on, we continue to work to move forward, all while respectfully acknowledging the incredible loss, pain, and trauma that affected so many in our community.
We will never forget the 17 whose lives were taken that day – Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Biegel, Martin Duque, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, and Peter Wang. Each one of these people left behind grieving family members and friends. For those who lost loved ones, every day is difficult and February 14 will especially be so. Our hearts go out to them.
In addition to those that were taken, we also acknowledge and remember the 17 people who were physically injured on February 14 and the hundreds more who were traumatized. Everyone who lived in our community that day was somehow affected and many of the emotions from that day may resurface as we near the second year mark. Please take this opportunity to check in on your family members, friends, and neighbors. Support is available at Eagles’ Haven Wellness Center located at 5655 Coral Ridge Drive in Coral Springs. You can contact them at 954-618-0350 or through their website at www.eagleshaven.org. Additional resources can be found on the city website at www.cityofparkland.org.
February 14, 2020 will be a “Day of Service and Love” in our community. Public Schools county-wide will have a half day of school and there will be organized activities and service projects at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Pine Trails Park will be open with mental health professionals and limited activities in the afternoon and evening. There will be a display in the park to remember those lives that were taken on February 14, 2018. Around 4:45pm we will have an interfaith ceremony led by various local clergy. Pine Trails Park will remain open until 10pm. Eagles’ Haven will be open from 9am-7pm. Please visit www.cityofparkland.org to see any updates or changes to the schedule for the day and visit https://www.browardschools.com/stonemandouglas for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School updates.
This time of year will always remind me of how precious and fleeting life can be, and also how people can, and do, come together to support one another. As a community, we are grateful for all those who have volunteered and continue to volunteer to help others and to those who have worked together to make a difference. We continue to honor the lives we lost and those affected through compassion and action. Please continue to reach out to me if you want to talk about our community and share your concerns and ideas on how we move forward together as a City. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.