JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As people nationwide reflect on the tragedy in Parkland one year later, some are sharing their personal stories.
Jamie Rich graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 1995, and is now founder and editor-in-chief of Flamingo magazine. When word of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School began to spread, the reaction nationwide was shock and devastation. Sitting in her office nearly five hours away in Ponte Vedra Beach, Rich remembers getting the news she never imagined.
"We immediately turned on the news and started watching the broadcasts like everyone else," Rich said. "It was one of those moments where you remember where you were."
This tragedy hit home for Rich. As the nation saw in the days and weeks after the shooting, students began lobbying for change. For some, their work inspired generations, present and past.
"I look back at my days at Stoneman Douglas and the friends I had and the times we had and the things we did," Rich said. 'I can't imagine taking on this type of issue. Taking on this type of responsibility." For Rich, that responsibility meant getting involved as well. She took part in the 'March for Our Lives' demonstration in Jacksonville.
Knowing the healing that can come with writing, she urged people to send their essays into her magazine as a "power of the pen" campaign. Rich said there was a big response. She said everyone from retired police officers to best-selling authors shared their views. A teacher was among those who contributed.
"She basically said she now has to decide how many kids can she fit inside her closet," Rich said.
Flamingo magazine shared a one-year anniversary story that is available now on its website.
READ IT HERE: Parkland: The Faces of Change
It includes interviews with survivors of the shooting like Delaney Tarr, Lauren Hogg, and their AP government teacher, Jeff Foster.
While there have been some changes in Florida, Rich’s hope is for the conversation to keep going. "I just continue to hope to be inspired and hope that other people will too," Rich said. "And that the issue won't disappear or be forgotten until the next school shooting."
The special article will be available in the next print issue which is available in March.