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Ray Haneski

Valentine’s Day 2018 was supposed to be full of love. After 2 p.m., it turned into a tragedy when 17 lives were taken at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. My wife Diana Haneski worked there, and I worked at the middle school next door. What are the odds of that?

Everything happened so fast. One of my staff was outside and sent a student to me to say she heard gunfire. Then came the code red at my school. Then the text from my wife next door that she was in a code red lockdown because of a shooter. Both of us in lockdowns, phones with non-stop texts from friends and our sons. All I could do was hit the “I can’t talk now” message on the phone.

It would be 5 p.m. before we were released, 7 p.m. before I could get to her, and the next day before we knew how many had been taken. The day of your event never leaves you; you don’t “get over it.” You do move forward and try to do good and help others. There are too many others now who have been through this. Love wins!

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.