Countless vigils. A national voter registration drive. Calls for school hardening. Parents of victims turned candidates for School Board. An armed guard hiring spree to staff schools on time.
The Parkland community has forever changed since a former student arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High six months ago to carry out the worst school shooting in Florida’s history. The attack claimed 17 lives, wounded another 17 and led to legislative changes that addressed school security measures.
The solemn anniversary comes the day before the start of a new school year in Broward County. Teachers reported back to their schools last week.
“It’s still hard to believe such an awful thing happened to us, but it did,” said Stoneman Douglas media specialist Diana Haneski. “As we were all hiding, trying to be safe that day, we didn’t know the horror. Not all of us knew the horror that was happening, but everyone’s forever changed.”
“We try to honor them every day,” she added. “No day will go by that I will forget.”
Here’s a roundup of what students, parents and community members of Stoneman Douglas have to say six months later.
Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime Guttenberg who was among those killed:
Today is 6 months since my daughter was murdered at school. This is not an anniversary for me, this is just another day to wake up and remember what we lost. I am again traveling dealing with what I believe to be the main issue, which is gun violence, this is most definitely— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) August 14, 2018
not what I want to be doing. I want to be with my complete family. I am having a hard time finding my words today. For those who make jokes about this, as has happened with some politicians and the NRA lately, it is not funny and I will not stop. I will work to defeat you. pic.twitter.com/YBdEZIJQJG— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) August 14, 2018
Stoneman Douglas alumna Delaney Tarr:
6 months.— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) August 14, 2018
6 months since all of our lives were destroyed, and 6 months of us putting them back together.
Our heart is still broken for those 17. It is broken for every life, every smile, every bit of joy stolen that day. Remember them. #MSDStrong
Reminder that tomorrow school starts at MSD, and that it will be so very difficult for every student returning. Please, send them love and strength.— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) August 14, 2018
Don’t forget about them.
Kyle Kashuv, a senior at Stoneman Douglas:
Those who passed just 6 months ago would not want their friends and classmates to live in fear. Something must be done, but we owe it to them to survive and push through. We also owe it to them to #FixIt!— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) August 14, 2018
August 28th, we must vote for the school board and keep our schools safe.
Former Stoneman Douglas High teacher Rich Mendelson, who is running for School Board District 6:
Today marks 6 months. I miss you #AaronFeis. We are fighting for you every single day. We will not stop. We won’t relent. We won’t fold. We will persevere and we will honor you.— MendelsonBCPS6 (@MendelsonBCPS6) August 14, 2018
March for Our Lives founder Cameron Kasky:
Six months ago, time stopped. Tragedy struck, and the world lost some of its best. Wishing my entire community a calm and reflective day of healing before school picks up again tomorrow.#MSDStrong— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) August 14, 2018
Hunter Pollack, brother of Meadow Pollack who was among those killed:
Every child in America is going to be safe when they're at school. No family should have to go through the agony we've endured these last 6 months. Thank you for all the support.— Hunter Pollack (@PollackHunter) August 14, 2018