By Kami Klein
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.
Once again the nation mourns innocent and loving lives that have been taken from us too soon. Over the course of the week there have been several news stories on the gunman, his motivations, the warning signs, and the steps he took on that horrible day. His name is mentioned countless times. It will not be mentioned here.
It is the lives that were lost to us that truly matter. It is their names that should be on our hearts and the family and friends who are enduring a grief that is beyond most of our understanding.
We ask that you honor those we have lost and as you read about each of them, please pray for those left behind, that have no answers. Please pray for all of the people who loved them. Pray for the students that survived so that they can heal from the horror and terror they have witnessed. Pray for the teachers who will be dealing with their own grief but must help these young people attempt to heal. Pray for our leaders that they may make wise decisions to protect our children.
Our spirits have been crushed by this horrible tragedy. Let us come together and pray for healing during this unbelievable grief.
Those we have lost…
Nicholas Dworet (17) was a competitive swimmer aspiring to compete in the 2020 Olympics. A high school senior, he had recently been recruited to swim at the University of Indianapolis.“That was what he was working for, and he would’ve made it,” Nicole Nilsson, a family friend, told TIME. “He had very big aspirations.”
The father of Jaime Guttenberg (14), a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, shared news of her death in an emotional Facebook post on Thursday. “My heart is broken,” Fred Guttenberg wrote.“I am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family will get through this,” he said, thanking friends and family members for their support. “Hugs to all and hold your children tight.”
Alyssa Alhadeff (14) , a soccer player at the Parkland Soccer Center. Her family left this message on the club’s facebook post. “Honor Alyssa by doing something fabulous in your life. Don’t ever give up and inspire for greatness,” “Live for Alyssa! Be her voice and breathe for her.”
Scott Beigel (35) was a geography teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. One of his students says he protected his classroom during the shooting and that she’s “100% certain” he saved her life.
Meadow Pollack (18), a senior at the high school, had planned on attending Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida next year.“She was just unbelievable,” her father, Andrew Pollack, told the New York Times. “She was a very strong-willed young girl who had everything going for her.”
Coach Aaron Feis (37) shielded students from the shooter with his own body. He has been described as a phenomenal man who loved his students and he did exactly like everyone knew he would; putting himself second and his students lives first.
Christopher Hixon, (49) the athletic director at the school, was also among those killed in the shooting.“Chris is probably the nicest guy I have ever met. He would give you the shirt off his back. “Dan Jacob, the athletic director at nearby Coral Springs High School, told the Sun-Sentinel.
Luke Hoyer (15) a freshman loved basketball and looked forward to High school.. His aunt said, “Our Luke was a precious child, who just went to school yesterday not knowing what was to come.”
Carman Schentrup (16) A National Merit Scholar semifinalist had recently gone on a college visit to the University of Washington, her cousin Matt Brandow said in a Facebook post, calling her the “most intelligible 16 year old I’ve ever met.”
Gina Montalto (14) was reported to be part of her high school’s state-champion marching band. her mother, Jennifer Montalto, wrote in Facebook post shared by local station CBS 12. “She was a smart, loving, caring, and strong girl who brightened any room she entered.”
Alex Schachter (14) played the trombone in his school’s marching band and “just wanted to do well and make his parents happy,” his father, Max Schachter, told the New York Times.
Peter Wang (15) was in the school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Program, according to the Miami Herald, and was last seen in his gray uniform on Wednesday. His cousin, Aaron Chen, told the Herald that Wang held the door open so others could escape during the shooting.
Alaina Petty (15) was a member of the school’s JROTC program and participated in the “Helping Hands” program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, helping to clean up Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in September, according to the Miami Herald.
Duque Anguiano (14) was a freshman at the school, according to the Miami Herald. His older brother, Miguel, posted about his death on Instagram early Thursday. “Words cannot describe my pain,” he wrote in the post. “I love brother Martin you’ll be missed buddy. I know you’re in a better place. Duques forever man I love you junior!!!”
Helena Ramsey (17) would have gone to college next year, a family member said in a long Facebook post. The relative remembered her as a “smart, kind hearted and thoughtful person.”“Though she was somewhat reserved, she had a relentless motivation towards her academic studies, and her soft warm demeanor brought the best out in all who knew her. She was so brilliant and witty, and I’m still wrestling with the idea that she is actually gone,” the post said.
Joaquin Oliver (17), who was born in Venezuela, moved to the United States with his family when he was 3 years old, according to the Miami Herald. He became a U.S. citizen last January.
Cara Loughran, (14) loved her cousins and spending time at the beach, her family said, according to the New York Times.Her aunt, Lindsay Fontana, posted about Loughran’s death on Facebook and urged readers to take action to prevent future shootings.“We are absolutely gutted. Cara was 14 years old. She was an excellent student, she loved the beach and she loved our girls,” she wrote in the post. “While your thoughts are appreciated, I beg you to DO SOMETHING. This should not have happened to our niece Cara and it cannot happen to other people’s families.”
For pictures and more on the lives of these brave teachers, coaches and students please see this excellent article from time.com.