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PARKLAND (CBSMiami) — It’s been exactly one year since a gunman massacred 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The communities and families terrorized by the tragedy are spending the day visiting graves, packing meals for the needy and contributing to other service projects as they remember the 14 students and three staff members who lost their lives.
Victims’ families say they will mourn out of the public eye. The Parkland school will be on a half-day schedule and students will serve breakfast to first responders.
Stoneman Douglas students can receive mental health counseling and visit therapy dogs. Volunteers will provide massages and manicures. Security will be heightened at Stoneman Douglas and throughout the district. Maintenance workers will be kept out of Broward schools to avoid banging and loud noises that might upset students and teachers.
Stoneman Douglas students will be dismissed at 11:40 a.m., nearly three hours before the time the shooting began, about 2:20 p.m. Many say they will avoid school altogether. For some it’s too emotional; others don’t want to be in the spotlight.
All other public schools throughout Broward County, will operate normal hours.
Students at other Broward County schools will also work on service projects and observe a moment of silence at 10:17 a.m.
For the victims’ families, there is no day without pain, so while Thursday may cut a bit deeper, in some ways it won’t be any different than the previous 364 days.
The Feb. 14 commemoration, while somber and emotional, is being designated A Day of Service and Love to engage students in school-based activities that serve others within their schools or local communities.
Here’s a list of some of those activities.
Hollywood Hills High School
5400 Stirling Road., Hollywood, FL 33021
Time: 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
- Banner signing
- Peace Chain (students will write messages highlighting kindness through action)
- Build a Valentine (students can create Valentine’s card or greeting to share with a special friend/teacher/family member)
- Just Journal (writing station for students to write poetry, essays, short stories, etc., if they want to express their feelings)
Seminole Middle School
6200 SW 16th Street, Plantation, FL 33317
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
- Unveiling unity mural, called Symphony of Brotherhood, which promotes diversity and inclusion
- Wearing red and white special t-shirts for a Day of Love to promote peace
- 17 Acts of Kindness Student Challenge
Fort Lauderdale High School
1600 NE 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
Time: 10:10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Wearing MSD school colors and painting kindness rocks
Beachside Montessori Village
2230 Lincoln Street, Hollywood, FL 33020
Time: 8:45 – 9:10 a.m.
- Glee Club students will welcome all students and families at the start of the day with songs at the school’s entrance as they arrive.
Sunrise Middle School
1750 NE 14th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Time: 12:15 – 1 p.m.
- The peer counseling students and art students will decorate a 9-by-9 foot canvas and place the canvases in a heart shape in the school’s cafeteria. The canvas will be decorated with an expression of love design.
- The students will also decorate paper chains and place them in the cafeteria.
Wilton Manors Elementary School
2401 NE 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
Time: 8:45 – 9:15 a.m.
- Breakfast for volunteers.
Broward County Public Schools is also sponsoring a service activity at Pine Trails Park in Parkland. Starting at 12:30 p.m., students and staff will assemble meal kits for Feed My Starving Children, which will distribute them to malnourished children around the world.
The city of Parkland will hold an interfaith ceremony for the community at 5:45 p.m. at Pine Trails Park on February 14. The service will last 30 minutes. The park will be open all day offering therapy dogs and counselors.
The city is asking the public to bring canned food in support of service efforts.
In Coral Springs, a nondenominational, temporary ‘Temple of Time’ will open where visitors will be allowed to mourn, contemplate, leave mementos and write message on its walls. The temple will remain open until May, when it will be burned in a purification ceremony.
For details, click here to visit the MSD Commemoration page on Parkland’s website.
In Tallahassee, there will be a moment of silence held at 9 a.m. in the Capitol Courtyard to honor the 17 people killed in the shooting.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)