PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Valentine’s Day is not only a day for love birds, but a day of remembrance.
Two years ago, on Valentine’s Day, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida experienced a mass shooting that killed 17 people and injured 17 more.
For the anniversary this year, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bay County held a memorial on the corner of Lisenby Avenue and Airport Road to remember the fallen. Pictures of each victim were placed in a circle around a peace garden was being dedicated to them.
All 17 names were read out loud alongside an account of who they were, what they achieved in life and their dreams for the future.
Heather Ogilvie, President of the Fellowship, says another goal of the gathering was to bring awareness to the division in the country over gun violence. She is optimistic that as a community we can come together and find solutions to stem the loss of life caused by the issue.
“We are torn apart in our country by the issue of gun violence, as a fellowship we are heartbroken that so many people are dying every day by gun violence. We really believe that this is a problem that we can solve,” Ogilvie said.
Fellowship members say universal background checks, mandatory reporting for lost guns and other measures could be solutions.
Ogilvie also emphasized the peace garden also symbolizes our own community and its continued hurricane recovery efforts.
The peace garden is open for the community to visit.