TAMPA, Fla — In the two years following the shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, survivors and parents of survivors have fought for change in the years since that tragedy.
"It's really hard to keep pushing, especially on days like today," Susana Matta Valdivieso told 10News.
For Matta Valdivieso, Valentine's Day will never be the same.
"I remember I was just like, that two minutes before the shooting happened, I was dressed up and waiting on my flowers and my chocolates my teddy bear when the fire alarm went off and the shots broke out," she said.
Seventeen students and staff died that day.
In the weeks and months after, people from Parkland and around the country rallied for change and thousands marched on Washington.
"I know that the week of, we just wanted to set ourselves on a mission to prevent gun violence," Matta Valdivieso said.
Two years after students marched on Washington and walked out of their classrooms in protest Matta Valdivieso said there's a lot of work ahead.
"So far what we have done, what politicians have done, hasn't been enough. I think there needs to be a lot of community understanding," she said,
Matta Valdivieso works with the Tampa Bay area chapter of March for Our Lives, a group that pushes to prevent gun violence.
"I would say definitely regulation for people before they obtain guns. I think the universal background check is huge," she said, "No more civilians with military-style guns."
And while she works to recover emotionally from the trauma she suffered during the school attack, she also has this advice for others.
"I would definitely let survivors and people who have friends and family of victims of gun violence that there is so much more to life," she said.
Saturday morning March for Our Lives Tampa will hold an event at Armature works from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and families are welcome.
What other people are reading right now:
- Neighbor linked to death of 6-year-old Faye Swetlik, police say
- Who is Coty Scott Taylor, man linked to Faye Swetlik death?
- Sheriff: Winter Haven woman scammed more than 60 people out of $1.6 million
- Innocent Jacksonville man should not be compensated for wrongful conviction after 42 years in prison, state says
- Video: Speeding car catapults off neighborhood roundabout
- Snakes congregating in Lakeland are just there to mate
- He's been missing since 2000, making him the longest-running Amber Alert in the state