Moment of silence held for 17 killed in Parkland shooting
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of students and adults across Florida and beyond bowed their heads in a moment of silence today to mark the first anniversary of the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 people dead.
"It's a permanent sore spot," said Fort Lauderdale High School junior Jake Lynch. "Forever, me going forward, I'll feel this day, and this time and those names. It reminds me of where I want the world to be. ... From suffering, better things come out."
The massacre on Feb. 14, 2018, inflamed the national debate over guns, turned young people into political activists and gave rise to some of the biggest youth demonstrations since the Vietnam era.
The moment of silence at more than 1,000 Florida schools was held at 10:17 a.m., though the shooting actually began about 2:20 p.m. School officials picked a different time because Stoneman Douglas students were being dismissed early to avoid being on campus at the hour of the attack. The time 10:17 was selected to denote the 17 slain.
Many Stoneman Douglas students arrived wearing the burgundy #MSDStrong T-shirts that have become an emblem of the tragedy. Outside, clear plastic figurines of angels were erected for each of the 14 students and three staff members killed.
Reporters were not allowed inside the school, but students worked on service projects as a way of trying to turn the tragedy into something positive, and grief counselors and therapy dogs were made available along with massages and pedicures. An interfaith service was scheduled for later in the day at a park nearby.