The Pony Express

Gaither Students Show Solidarity with Shooting Victims

Olivia Dyer, Staff Writer

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In honor of the lives impacted by the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 12, Hillsborough County held a Candlelight Vigil on Feb.19 at Curtis Hixon Park.

In attendance were students, teachers and parents from all over who gave their condolences to those who were victims of last week’s tragic event. Students from Plant High School went on stage and named each of the students and teachers who were killed in the shooting.

“It was sad, hearing the names of the victims being called, because there were so many people that were so young. Some students were very close to our age and it’s so sad because some had accomplished a lot. [One victim], a 17 year old girl, got into the UF Honors Program and was a Merits Scholarship finalist. Hearing their stories really touched me because you hear it on the news that people passed away, but you don’t really connect it with their stories,” said Haley Zarcone, junior.

A chorus from The Carrollwood Cultural Center sang songs, including ‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley, to remember all the victims in the shooting. At the end of the singing, everyone raised their flashlights on their phones as a display of solidarity with those who were affected. It was a heart-warming vigil that left many people attending in tears.

Many students felt the emotional toll of hearing the stories of the young lives lost but still felt a surge of hope for what may come next.

“It was really depressing because some of those kids were our age and they won’t be able to grow up and have the life experiences they should have. They’re not going to be able to go to college or do what they wanted to do. When everyone was raising their flashlights, I felt like it represented hope for a better future: to see that many people supporting those people that were lost in the shooting was very heart touching,” said Amy Tomlinson, senior.

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Gaither Students Show Solidarity with Shooting Victims