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Parkland Tragedy Four Years Later: Moment Of Silence, A Day Of Remembrance, Service

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Monday, February 14th, marks four years since the tragedy in Parkland.

It's a day all of South Florida and the country will never forget. Fourteen teen students and three staff members were killed that day at Marjory Stoneman High School.

In their honor, Monday is a day of service and love.

At 10:17 a.m., the school district held a moment of reflection to honor and remember those lost.

"Words cannot express the tremendous grief our students, our employees, families, school district and community have experienced as a result of the tragedy which occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th, 2018. At this time we pause to honor those we lost by remembering their names. Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Biegel, Martin Duque, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jamie Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsey, Alex Schacter, Carmen Schentrup, and Peter Wang," said incoming Broward Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright.

WATCH: CBS4 News Special Report On Parkland Ceremony

"It's so important to know who these individual souls were. They could have contributed so much more, but their lives were cut short and we must recognize their lives had a purpose," said Cartwright.

The Eagles' Haven Wellness Center honored the victims with a day full of wellness activities. The center was opened in 2019 to restore hope following the shooting. They also held a candlelight ceremony and released 17 doves.

"It's just so powerful and peaceful and loving memory of the 17 we tragically lost 4 years ago," said Lori Alhadeff.

Her daughter Alyssa was one of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Alhadeff now sits on the school board.

"For me it's like February 14th is every day, but here we are four years and I just miss my daughter Alyssa so much. But I have turned my grief into action to try to make our schools safer," she said.

At Riverside Elementary School, students and staff took part in a campus beautification project and a book bag drive.

"We always instill in our students to be kind," said art teacher Lauren Young.  "Actually, our theme for this year is peace, love and kindness. So it's not just a one-day thing," she said.

"Kindness is important because everybody wants to be treated good," said Riverside student Nathalia Felix.

At New River Middle in Fort Lauderdale, students drew chalk art with positive messages and planted a garden.

"What seems really small could really just change how a person is feeling inside, because one positive message could change their whole day," said student Malcolm Ambrose.

At South Broward High in Hollywood, teens celebrated first responders.

"It's a great surprise. It's heartwarming, it's awesome," said firefighter Lori Machetta.

Students want to make sure the men and women who keep us safe know they're appreciated.

"It's turning something negative into something positive," said South Broward High Principal Patty Brown. "It's our small way of saying thank you by cheering for them and giving them a hot breakfast."

At Cypress Bay High School in Weston, students made dog toys for the Humane Society and assembled pinwheels for peace.

"I want them to go home and be thankful," said student Fiorella Matchan. "I want them to go home and remember they are loved, we are here for them."

Florida government buildings, parks and other facilities flew their flags at half-staff in remembrance of those who died.

The city of Pembroke Pines held a prayer vigil in the evening, which included music and a candlelight ceremony.


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