February's #ForeverJaime Fundraiser 2021

ALL MONTH 2/1 – 2/28

Written by Co-Founder Fred Guttenberg on 2/14/21

Dear Jaime,

3 years ago your voice was silenced. I rushed you and your brother out the door that morning, thinking it would be like any other typical day, never expecting what would happen. A school shooting!!! You were 14 and only a freshman in high school, your brother Jesse survived… you did not.

You are on my mind every second of every minute of every day. I constantly relive your last seconds in my mind. Did you suffer? I will never know, but I fear that you did. Did I do enough to protect you? The answer is… No!!! I did not… and for that, I will carry guilt for the rest of my life. I did not use my voice to fight the evil of gun violence until I suffered the greatest loss any parent could suffer, losing you my beautiful daughter. And for that, I am so sorry.

Today you should be a senior in high school. This Valentine’s Day, we should be celebrating love. We should be looking at your senior pictures with you, watching you excitedly apply to colleges, and helping you decide where to go. We should be eagerly looking forward to prom and I should be thinking about the advice I want to give you at graduation.

While I am so happy to see all of your friends have these experiences, it breaks my soul to know that you will not. Mom, Jesse, and I won’t be able to watch you experience this with them. Every time I see posts with senior photos and college acceptances, I smile for all of your friends and then I cry for you. Because of what happened to you, our life has changed forever. Shortly after your murder, I embarked on a mission to do something about gun violence and this is now my life purpose and mission. I failed you by not speaking out before you were killed, and now I will never stop.

Jaime, I am your voice now. Together, you and I will not stop. In your name and in your memory, gun safety legislation will pass. Because of what happened to you, this country now understands that we need to do better. You had what I call the greatest BS detector and the greatest moral compass of anyone I ever met, even though you were only 14. It now serves me well. I will work with our new President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, to ensure that we do all that we can to stop this violence. If this does not happen, then you and I together will continue working to elect the people who will do this. We worked hard to get our new administration in place, and I expect great things from them, and I will hold them accountable. I only wish you were here with me… doing this together–– not pushing me forward from the grave. I LOVE YOU, I MISS YOU, AND I PROMISE TO ALWAYS FIGHT FOR MOM, JESSE, AND EVERYONE ELSE THAT YOU LOVED. WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS!!! Change WILL happen.