Wednesday February 14, 2018- Valentine’s Day. A day that will forever be etched in our memory.
It was a day that Parkland, our home for the past 18 years, lost its innocence. In a matter of minutes, beginning at 2:21pm, seventeen innocent souls perished.
PARKLAND STRONG ISN’T MERELY A SLOGAN
Wednesday February 14, 2018- Valentine’s Day. A day that will forever be etched in our
It was a day that Parkland, our home for the past 18 years, lost its innocence. In a matter
of minutes, beginning at 2:21pm, seventeen innocent souls perished.
If only we could turn back the clock. You see, Parkland isn’t like any other town. It’s a rare
piece of Americana thati s disappearing across our country. It’s our few remaining
bastions of suburban utopia where families gather to provide a haven for their children.
It’s a community where neighbors greet each other. In fact, many of us know each other
well and care genuinely for our fellow residents. We often stop and say hello, whether it’s
at our local dry cleaner’s, or the Starbucks on Hillsboro Blvd or the one on Coral Ridge
Drive…just blocks away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas H igh School. Tragically, it is
now the infamous site where the shooting took place. When a deranged gunman opened
fire on unsuspecting students and teachers that fateful day, he murdered not only
seventeen lives, he destroyed our Parkland.
Or did he? On that very evening after the shooting took place, our city immediately
organized a vigil at the Parkland Amphitheater, led by community rabbis and lay leaders.
More than 30,000 people showed up in a matter of hours! There were news agencies from
all over the world covering the event. While tears and melancholy filled the air, we began
to witness the resilient spirit of our town almost immediately. Scores of students, many of
whom were hunkered down in classrooms just a few short hours before, came out to
console their peers. Others arrived to pay their respect and to mourn for the loss of their
classmates. As if united by a divine calling, we witnessed the incredible solidarity of the
students in attendance. Overnight, a movement in Parkland had begun- a movement that
will have far reaching effects upon the annals of our country’