Parkland honors school shooting victims on five-year anniversary (includes video story)

The Parkland community united on Tuesday in Pines Trails Park for a five-year commemoration event to honor the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy. 

As the sun set, the event featured a brief ceremony introduced by Parkland Mayor Rich Walker along with spiritual leaders sharing prayers and stories. The Stoneman Douglas band and choir performed a heartwarming song followed by a short video about the memorial that is in the works for the lost lives. 

A day before this event, a shooting at Michigan State University left the Parkland community angered by the ongoing gun violence still happening five years after the MSD tragedy.

“I’m also frustrated because of what happened yesterday in Michigan and it’s just a reminder that we have a lot of work to do when it comes to gun violence in this country and gun control legislation,” said Gloria Moschella, the parent of a Stoneman Douglas student.  

Throughout the event, the Parkland community created small glowing lanterns with special messages. There was also a drum circle session to share a therapeutic rhythm. Many gathered around to see the display of black and white portraits of the 17 victims created by the Inside Out global art project.

Each year, this event brings the Parkland community together in remembrance of the 17 lives that were taken on Feb. 14, 2018. If you’d like to share your support for the Parkland 17 Memorial Foundation, you can make a contribution at

Emely Cajias is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Digital Journalism and Media. After graduation, Emely hopes to pursue a career in TV and one day become a journalist for the New York Times. She also enjoys singing, writing movie reviews and listening to music.


Paloma Pimentel is a senior at FIU majoring in Digital Journalism and Communications, with a background in sociological studies. She is passionate about writing environmental and social issues stories, and is on her path to becoming an investigative journalist.  Having traveled to 20 countries already, she seeks to know more about the world and write stories about it.

Pamela Correa is a graduate student from the Journalism in Spanish Language + Multimedia Program. From the Dominican Republic, this proud island girl enjoys the beach, music and dancing. She majored in psychology, minored in sociology and is now looking forward to this new journey on the communications pathway.