On February 14th, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, a shooting costing seventeen innocent lives of students and teachers occurred. Students at Somerset Academy Canyons felt heartbroken, as most of the victims were about their age. Somerset students wanted to memorialize these victims in a fashion of respect and honor.
Exactly one month after the shooting, Somerset Canyons, along with other schools around the country, hosted a tribute on March 14, 2018. Many students and teachers, despite their personal beliefs, attended a memorial held to honor the seventeen lives lost in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school.
Josh Rodriguez, an 8th grade Somerset student, went onto state, “It made the students feel heard…”
On the railing in front of the gym, seventeen posters hung bearing the names of the students who were killed. A few students brought their own signs to express their beliefs on controversial topics and to let the friends and families of the victims know they will never be forgotten and that we support them, which was the focus of the memorial. The speeches prepared by five high school students spoke of memorializing the victims, in order to insure students would truly understand why the memorial was held.
6th grader, Konstantinos Pantaridis, said “The thought somebody would kill innocent teenagers… I feel like it’s really messed up… I feel like some kids were traumatized”.
In the middle of the memorial, there were seventeen minutes of silence for those lost. Students and teachers stood in complete silence out of respect for those who had passed away and their families and friends for future awareness for what happened.
Josh Rodriguez stated “[those affected by the tragedy] it has made them feel special… to know that people cared and that they were important in the life that they lived… their children were loved and that people cared for them and that they [family members and friends of the students who lost their lives] are not alone.”