Monday marks a somber day across South Florida as the lives of 17 victims killed in the deadly mass shooting inside a Parkland school are remembered.
Broward County Public Schools observed "A Day of Service and Love" in commemoration of four years since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy.
Students, staff and volunteers districtwide participate in a variety of
volunteer and service projects to remember the students and staff lost and injured.
This year's remembrances will be the first without any students at MSD who were on campus during the February 14, 2018 shooting. Last June, the school honored nine of the victims - Alex Schachter, Alyssa Alhadeff, Martin Duque, Jaime Guttenberg, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Alaina Petty, and Peter Wang — who would have graduated.
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The other eight victims were students Nicholas Dworet, Joaquin Oliver, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay and Carmen Schentrup, along with staff members Scott Beigel, Aaron Feis and Chris Hixon.
“Never thought that I’d have to run for my life at school but that’s something that obviously I’m gonna have to live with,” said Caroline Kendall, who graduated last year and was on the first floor of the 1200 building when the shooting started.
“I mean, I was 14 years old when the shooting happened, so it feels like a lifetime ago, and at the same time, it could’ve been yesterday,” said Eden Samara, who also graduated last June.
It will also be the first remembrance since the confessed shooter, Nikolas Cruz, pled guilty last October to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder.
"I am very sorry for what I did and I have to live with it every day and that if I were to get a second chance, I will do everything in my power to try to help others," Cruz said.
Cruz's legal team is arguing against the death penalty in the next phase of the trial, which was scheduled to start February 21 but has now been pushed back to April at the earliest.
Prosecutors said the delay is necessary because the defense has only recently begun forwarding evidence that their experts will rely on to argue that Cruz should not receive the death penalty.