It was a day full of grief, prayers and condolences as four more funerals took place Sunday. 17 crosses places in front of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School remain as a harsh reminder of what happened on Valentine’s Day. But their loved ones say their souls will never be forgotten.
A geography teacher, a dancer, a basketball lover and a marching band musician – now gone.
“We decided to come out here to commemorate all the victims that were lost and we just wanted to make sure that their memory is alive,” said Alonda Cruz, a junior at Stoneman Douglas High.
“As a mother, as a parent of a daughter who called me running for her life, I am devastated. I am tired, I am angered,” said Jolesys Belen Cruz.
Friends are emotional and devastated. But Sunday also brought a day of remembrance with a memorial mass for Parkland strong at the Church by the Glades.
Lighting candles for the departed, attendees honored Luke Hoyer, 15. The freshman was described as a good kid who loved basketball, video games and anything sweet.
“Luke was just this awesome kid. Big smile. Kind of a quiet kid. An athlete. He loved basketball and chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A,” said the pastor.
Family and friends also gathered in Coral Springs for the funeral of Jamie Gutenberg, 14. Her father described the dancer as the life of the party. Orange ribbons were tied to trees as a symbol of the teen’s favorite color.
Teacher and cross country coach Scott Beigel was also laid to rest in Boca Raton. His family, heartbroken, as he died a hero saving students from gunfire.
Alex Schachter was remembered on Sunday, as well. The 14-year-old freshman described as a happy band kid with a contagious personality. The adolescent played the trombone and baritone for the school’s marching band.
Their spirits are now memorialized.
“They were amazing people. All they gave was love and smiles and fun and always had a great time, so we want their memory to be alive and keep it save. They deserve justice,” said Alondra Cruz.
The funerals for Luke Hoyer, Alaina Petty and Gina Montalta are planned for Monday.