Community events across Florida commemorate MSD victims

PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - Even if you aren’t a student, teacher or school board official, there are still ways you can recognize the victims lost in the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting a year ago.

Seventeen boards were put together with the faces of each student and staff member killed on Feb. 14. Each board serves as a reflection of the person it represents.

Scott Beigel’s family attended the memorial at Pine Trails Park where they said they chose to celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

Beigel’s mother, Linda Beigel Schulman, flew down from New York with her daughter to help put his board together.

The messages on each one is personal and heartbreaking.

Some messages came from the community, whiles others came from complete strangers across the world.

The boards were facilitated by HandsOn Broward.

The non-profit organization is also part of 17 other community service projects aimed at creating a legacy for the victims.

“Our hope from the get go was not just the panels but also the service projects,” said HandsOn Broward’s Dale Mandell. “To help our community and the families, because they were at the projects, to help them heal through service. We knew getting them out together and working on a project, and there was laughter, and there was a sense of relief and joy, because were were leaving this legacy behind for the person they loved. This art project I think helped the community because they were able to communicate their feelings. If you put it all together, between the service piece and the art piece, the whole goal was to just help heal.”

Residents were overcome with emotion as they viewed each victim’s board.

“Very overwhelming. It’s very hard to see that something like this would happen here to anyone or any family,” resident Stephanie Amman said. “It’s just really tragic.”

When people come to the park Thursday evening, they will have to walk through the 17 boards in order to get to a documentary showing at around 5:45 p.m.

The documentary will be run for 20 minutes.

A moment of silence is also slated to take place at 2:21 p.m. — the time confessed gunman, Nikolas Cruz, began firing his first shots.

Meanwhile, in Miami-Dade County, several schools held a moment of silence for the victims.

Over at Miami Lakes Middle School, hundreds of students formed a human peace sign before paying homage to the victims.

The city of Parkland will host several events to recognize the tragedy.

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