PARKLAND, Fla. — Family members of the 17 victims in the Parkland school shooting gathered Tuesday to remember their loved ones lost five years ago.
But losing a loved one in such a horrific situation never seems to heal.
"It's such a tragedy, such wonderful people, it's just so sad," one man said.
In memory of those lives lost, the Eagles' Haven Community Wellness Center, organized an event in Coral Springs.
Family members of the 17 victims showed up to the ceremony for fellowship. While it began in song, eventually 17 candles were lit for each person who died in the shooting. This was followed by the release of 17 doves.
"Today I think about 2:21 in the afternoon is when the shooting started," Max Schachter, the father of Alex Schachter, who was killed in the shooting, said. "Then I think about how much Alex was in pain at the time. And then I also think about the horrible tragedy in Michigan. My heart bleeds for them."
Across town, the city of Parkland held a ceremony of remembrance later in the day at Pine Trails Park.
A nice-sized crowd showed up to pay their respects. Spiritual leaders were on hand, a video about the victims was played and large pictures of each victim were on display.
"Each Feb. 14 it's a day we truly try to set aside and remember the victims, who they were and why this was such a tragedy," Tony Montalto, the father of victim Gina Rose Montalto said.