Parkland Shooting Remembrance



A Parkland Shooting memorial, which was made by senior visual arts major, Jonathan Trombetta.

Makenzie Pent, Reporter

February 14th marked the 5-year anniversary of the tragic Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. An incident that took the lives of 17 innocent people, 14 of those people being students that attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as well as 3 staff members, age ranging from 14-49 years old, along with an additional 17 injured.

The tragedy on February 14, 2018, started “March for Our Lives,” a global movement led by young people, which prompted state legislation reforms intended to make schools safer resulting in new handgun regulations in what had previously been known as the “Gun shine State.”

Due to the gun laws at the time, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was able purchase the firearm he had used during the shooting. After his trial, he was given a life sentence without the chance of parole. Additionally, charges against a school resource officer for allegedly failing to stop the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were added, which caused former Republican governor, Rick Scott, to approve laws increasing the legal age to purchase handguns in Florida, taking away firearms from thousands of people regarded to be threats.

Senior Visual Arts major, Jonathan Trombetta, coordinated a remembrance of the 17 people that lives had been taken during the tragic event. At first many didn’t understand what the display meant, but once taking a closer look realized the significance behind the piece. The memorial displayed 17 chairs, all match with a responding name plate to all 17 victims.

Once asked the inspiration and significance behind the display, Jonathan Trombetta explained, “The inspiration behind it was that Valentine’s Day is a day meant to be celebrated. But everyone may forget that while it’s a day to celebrate the people you love, but it’s also a day where many lost the one’s they love. And it only really took less than 5 years it as to other people, and for it to be forgotten so quickly. I wanted to do those kids and adults justice.” Jonathan Trombetta then states the meaning behind the piece was “to show people how many 17 lives really is. So, seeing the 17 chairs and seeing how much of a hold that impacts people.”

Even years after the devastating event, the peoples whose lives were taken too early deserve recognition and remembrance. The displayed was a way of showing the massacre that devastated and ripped apart 17 families, as well as left numerous traumatized students and staff. Even with the new legislation, which give judges the authority to temporarily take weapons from those who pose a threat to themselves or others and despite the demands of several gun safety activists, assault weapons were not prohibited. As the country reckons with how to prevent more children from being killed at school, the legacies of the Parkland victims live on years after.