Sarasota students honor Parkland victims one year later

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A page and a half of handwritten words will never be enough to express how Aiden Pearson feels. 

"The word Parkland brings back memories that scared me for life," he read. 

The junior at Booker High School in Sarasota wrote the hardest line of his life. 

"A friend of mine was brutally murdered," he said. "A soul taken too soon." 

He shared the story of Alyssa Alhadeff. She was one of several students from Parkland that he met and became friends with at summer camp. 

"One year is very tough to imagine. I struggle knowing everyday knowing she is gone," he said. 

One year ago Aiden was at lunch when he learned about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. 

"The first thought was, 'Is everyone OK?' I texted about 20 of them. I got 19 text messages back that day," said Aiden. 

The only person he didn't hear back from was Alyssa. 

He'd receive the horrible news hours later. 

"The next morning at 4 a.m. I woke up to a phone call saying she was no longer with us," he said. 

365 days have passed, but Aiden hasn't gone one day without thinking of Alyssa. 

As his classmates paused for a minute of silence, he focused on the thought that the only good that can come from the evil that unfolded at Parkland is awareness. 

"It takes one word. One sentence to be able to change and to be able to see and make sure that everyone knows something is going on," he said. 

It's a thought that's shared among his classmates. 

"I look at school different because of this event. I feel like so many things have changed," said Myles Summerlin. 

Jabrielle Nelson agreed. 

"We've come together to make sure each other is safe," she said.