On Monday, Feb. 19, NSU held a vigil to memorialize the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy that occurred just five days prior on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. The Don Taft University center was packed as NSU students, members of the community and a survivor of the shooting spoke out against gun violence and expressed their emotions of grief, disbelief and frustration. Attendees delivered powerful speeches, prayers and poems as the candles mixed among the names and images of the lives lost flickered.
A member of the community places her hand on Eden Hebron’s shoulder after she delivered her speech that left many in the audience at a loss for words
A student looks down at one of the fallen’s images. After the vigil, many took time to recognize the faces of those on the memorial.
Eden Hebron, a survivor of the shooting and a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School recounts to the audience what she was feeling on the day that she witnessed the tragedy right in front of her. She deemed what happened on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2018 a “massacre”
Adrianna Arosemena delivers a poem about the strength of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The crowd was visibly moved as she told students that we are one.
Ablaze student Moria Majaha leads the audience in prayer. Those in attendance bowed their heads in respect and some held the hands of their neighbors.
Alex Lopez, President of NSU’s Student Government, begins the night by asking for kind and quiet behavior out of respect for the tragedy.
Ashley Arinus, a student at NSU and a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alumna, places her hand on the steps before the image of one of the victims.
A student bows her head during the vigil for the victims of the shooting
Bowing her head and kneeling, a student is silent before the memorial as those around her shuffle before the images.
Flowers and candles dotted the memorial between the images and names of the lives lost on Valentines Day.
Mariah Knowles from Ablaze, an NSU student organization, delivers a speech expressing the power of faith in times like these
NSU’s President Dr. George Hanbury delivers a powerful speech about the value of education and safety in schools
Nicole Hebron, Eden Hebron’s mother and an assistant professor of public health at NSU, explains the weight of the shooting, and exclaims that one simple smile would not have changed what happened on Feb. 14. She told the students in the audience that they are “agents of change”, capable of impacting how these tragedies are handled in the future, if they are to occur.
Students and members of the public came to a banner after the vigil to send words of solidarity, support and empathy to the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Paper bags with the images of the students that lost their lives in the shooting line the steps of the University Center pit
Those in attendance look on as a poem is being delivered. The looks on their faces ranged from shock and disbelief to sadness and solidarity.
President Hanbury speaks out against the legislative system and calls on students and the community to work for a change
Student Emily Ruiz recites an untitled poem expressing confusion and empathy
NSU’s student organization, Campus Cursive, held a table with hearts to sign that were to be delivered to those grieving. This sign was visible on the table, and was meant to help the community phrase their emotions.
Flowers, candles, names and pictures line the steps of the normally loud and bustling University Center. On the eve of the vigil, a quietness came over the UC as the audience reflected on the tragedy that occurred a mere 5 days before.
The words love, support and strong can be seen over and over again on the banner that the audience was asked to sign before and after the vigil.
Students look on, upset and distraught, while a speech is being delivered.
Taylor Bertolini, President of NSU’s Campus Cursive, explains the impact the shooting has had on NSU, even though it was miles away.
The audience silent while speakers delivered their words
Those at the vigil bow their heads as Moria Majaha invites them to take part in a prayer for the victims and those in grieving..
Two people wearing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shirts bend over the memorial.
Tyrianna Young shares a powerful and emotional speech. The impact of her speech was visible on the faces of those at the vigil..
Utoy Wong performs _Golden Stoles_, a poem he wrote in sorrow for the students who were killed before they got to live the lives they deserved.
Words of support flooded the banner, as person after person came to share their thoughts
Sarah Goltsman, an NSU student, performs a piece titled “Acetone”, a poem she wrote describing her thoughts on the shooting that happened less than 25 miles away from campus. The audience was hushed as Goltsman delivered her moving words
The audience had a variety of ways of showing their love for one another. From holding hands in prayer and love to bowing heads and shedding tears, it was clear that everyone in attendance was hurting for the victims and their loved ones.