The funerals for two 14-year-old students and a heroic teacher who died in the Parkland, Florida school shooting were held Sunday. They were among the 14 students and three teachers killed on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Alexander Schachter, who dreamed of going to the University of Connecticut was buried Sunday morning, with about 1,200 teachers, students and family in attendance, reports the Sun Sentinel. He was also a member of the school band, playing trombone and baritone.
"I don’t want people to forget his passion for music," classmate Ryan Matulin, 15, said. "He was a nice kid. He never said anything bad."
The funeral for 14-year-old Jamie Taylor Guttenberg was covered with orange ribbons, since orange was her favorite color. Her older brother was at the school on Wednesday, and survived. Her death came just months after her uncle, Dr. Michael Guttenberg, died from pancreatic cancer, linked to the toxins he ingested at the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
"How do we keep her memory alive?" Rabbi Jonathan Kaplan of Temple Beth Chai said at the funeral, reports the Sun Sentinel. "We’re going to fight for causes to make a difference ... What comes out of this will be a blessing for Jaime, in her memory.”
“I have a pain in my heart that is unbearable,” her mother, Jennifer Guttenberg, said of her Jamie. "You are the best daughter in the world and you will always be my Valentine."
Her father, Fred Guttenberg, said Jamie's death inspired him to become an activist against gun violence.
“I have been triggered. I will be relentless," Fred Guttenberg said. "This will be my life going forward. We will win. We will be able to safely send our kids to school. This could have been your kid."
Beigel, a 35-year-old New York native and University of Miami graduate, has been hailed as a hero because he unlocked a classroom door so students could get inside. While some ran in, Beigel was shot.
The first funerals for victims were held on Friday, two days after the shooting. Funerals for 18-year-old Meadow Pollack and 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff were the first two. Alyssa's mother, Lori, gave an emotional speech directly to President Donald Trump on CNN.
"How do we allow a gunman to come into our children's school?" Lori Alhadeff said. "How do they get through security? You can stop guns from getting into these children's hands! Put metal detectors at every entrance to the school!" What can you do? You can do a lot. This is not fair to our families that our children go to school and have to get killed!"
On the day after the Feb. 14 shooting, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi promised families that the state will pay for the funerals.
The confessed shooter, Nikolas Cruz, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.