Public memorial planned for Parkland school school victims

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A nonprofit organization in Florida is planning a public memorial dedicated to the 17 people who died during a 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman

Douglas High School. The Parkland 17 Memorial Foundation said the memorial will be built on a nature preserve on the edge of Florida's Everglades. Seventeen people were also

injured in the shooting that occurred just before the school day ended on Valentine's Day in 2018. “It is a way to memorialize those that were taken from us that terrible

day almost five years ago," said Tony Montalto, whose 14-year-old daughter Gina was killed. Montalto is vice-chairman of the Parkland 17 Memorial Foundation, and a liaison to the

families of the other victims. He said fundraising is underway for the public memorial, which will offer a public place to reflect on the students and teachers who were

taken from their families and the community. The preserve is located on the border of Parkland and Coral Springs in suburban Fort Lauderdale. “This foundation was

established to build the official public memorial to the victims of the Parkland massacre to ensure they are forever remembered as the people they were, as innocent children with

vibrant, bright futures ahead of them – educators and coaches who gave so much of themselves to their students,” Montalto said. The project is being overseen by the

foundation, and proposals for its design will be reviewed by the victims' families. Montalto said they've put out a national call to artists for ideas for the

project.