BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) – The President of the Parkland Historical Society is calling it a “sacred journey.”
He helped deliver boxes of mementos and memorial artifacts on Thursday afternoon honoring the 17 students and teachers who were shot and killed on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to the Library at Florida Atlantic University.
The items will be stored for at least six months until a permanent site can be found for them.
“It is a sacred journey that is reverent and sacred to all of us,” said Jeff Schwartz, the President of the Parkland Historical Society. “This has been in the past weeks something that has been very emotional to me personally. I feel very strongly about this and want to save these items for perpetuity.”
He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “For generations to come with these items we want to show what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to the community and to the world through our outreach.”
The items include letters, photos, crosses, stars and stuffed animals.
Schwartz said, “This is a photo of Meadow Pollack and these are boxes honoring Luke Hoyer and Peter Wang.”
Wang was killed while wearing his Jr. ROTC uniform as held the door for classmates to escape.
Parkland City Commissioner Ken Cutler said he pushed for these special deliveries to be made to FAU.
“Obviously this is their collective grief and this an outpouring of love for people who have lost their lives and for those who have suffered through this tragedy,” he said. “We need to preserve these items for the future.”
“I can tell you my wife is a teacher at the school and was there when this shooting occurred and so this is personal to me,” said Cutler.
It is also personal for Joanne Parandjuk, a faculty member at the FAU library who lives in Parkland and whose three children all attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“In the short term we need to get these items or of the sun, wind and rain,” she said. “There are many letters and photos and things that need to be preserved. We have the expertise here and the archives and the proper place for a collection of items of interest. This is not just a tragic moment but a movement and this feels really personal.”
“I have 3 children who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and I am a Parkland resident,” she said. “We want to take care of these items for the families so they can come and view them. For now the public will not have access, just the families.”
“This is short term temporary storage for 6 months to 2 or 3 years until the families can come up with a long term exhibit where they can be displayed,” she said.
FAU students applauded the delivery.
Emily Lyn, a junior, said, “I do believe this is a good thing because these items need to come out of the weather since people have been stealing some of the items from the site and so it’s good to have them in a safe, air conditioned site to help keep these memories alive.”