A massive memorial outside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has become a powerful commemoration of the shooting victims

Getty Images/Joe RaedleStaff members visit the memorial for the shooting victims in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 23, 2018.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is currently encircled by a massive makeshift memorial commemorating the 17 victims of the Valentine’s Day shooting.

Over the last two weeks, students, faculty, families, and community members have brought flowers, balloons, and other mementos in droves to decorate the fencing outside the high school.

Students returned to classes on Wednesday for the first time since the massacre, greeted by hundreds of uniformed police officers and family members.

“We just wanted to make sure they know we are there and that they have our support,” Jeannine Gittens, whose 16-year-old son attends the school, told Reuters.

“We feel for these kids so much,” said Beverly Turner, another supporter who turned up on Wednesday. “We’ve seen them grow up, and us being there for them is the least we can do.”

Here’s what the memorial outside the school looks like:


Mourners have pinned mementos to the fencing around the school.


Flowers, flags, balloons, and stuffed animals are piled up on the grass.


Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sits on a 44-acre site, with multiple buildings and an athletic complex.


The memorial, still growing, reportedly stretches for blocks.


There’s a tribute with photos of the 17 people who were gunned down that day.

Learn more about the victims here »


The memorial has become a place to mourn, and remember, the lives lost.


The school district said it would tear down the building where the shooting took place.


The students returned to school on Wednesday, and are easing into things with half-days.


Counselors and therapy dogs were on hand to offer their support, as seen on the school’s Snapchat story on Wednesday.

http://instagr.am/p/BftSx50Haz7


The police presence was also high as class resumed. Students posted Snapchats of them thanking the officers who were there guarding their safety.


The students, teachers, and staff are back at their school, but things will likely never be the same for them again.

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