ORLANDO, Fla. – There were nationwide tributes Monday to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland 4 years ago.
There was a moment of silence Monday at several schools in Broward County as the victims’ names were read aloud. At a community wellness center in Coral Springs, 17 doves were released.
Patricia Oliver is still hurt. Her son, Joaquin was one of the victims killed on that somber day.
“Really, every day reminds us of the pain,” said Oliver.
Monday, she, and her husband traveled to Washington D.C. to call for gun legislation and to continue demanding action from White house leaders.
“They have to care how many people are losing by gun violence every single second of the day,” said Oliver.
Her husband, Manuel Oliver, was even arrested after climbing part of a construction tower outside the White House. His message -- the gun violence has to stop.
“I would like to see changes that improve our safety,” said Oliver.
Meantime, Nikolas Cruz, who was a former student, pleaded guilty last October to killing 17 people that day. He also apologized for his actions. The penalty phase of his trial has been delayed until April.
But still there are people like Patricia Oliver, left to grieve, knowing she’ll never see her son again.
“You don’t want to be in our body, feeling and suffering the tragedy and the loss of a loved one,” said Oliver.
President Biden released a statement Monday, saying his administration has put together a comprehensive plan to reduce gun crime. He said he’s also asked Congress to pass a budget to include an extra half-billion dollars for plans he says will reduce violent crime.
“As we remember those lost in Parkland, we also stand with Americans in every corner of our country who have lost loved ones to gun violence or had their lives forever altered by a shooting, in tragedies that made headlines and in ones that did not,” the statement said.
The full statement is on the White House website.
- Alyssa Alhadeff, 14
- Scott Beigel, 35
- Martin Duque, 14
- Nicholas Dworet, 17
- Aaron Feis, 37
- Jaime Guttenberg, 14
- Chris Hixon, 49
- Luke Hoyer, 15
- Cara Loughran, 14
- Gina Montalto, 14
- Joaquin Oliver, 17
- Alaina Petty, 14
- Meadow Pollack, 18
- Helena Ramsay, 17
- Alex Schachter, 14
- Carmen Schentrup, 16
- Peter Wang, 15