Yesterday, Friday, July 13, would have been Jaime Guttenberg’s 15th birthday. The teen, who was one of 17 victims of the February 14th shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is being remembered on social media by friends, family, and community members who are still mourning the loss of her presence.
“Today, Jaime should be turning 15,” her father, Fred Guttenberg, wrote in a moving Twitter thread. “I should be taking her for her driver’s permit. Her family and her friends should be celebrating with her.” He went on to say that instead of celebrating, he and the rest of Jaime’s family are “broken and crying.” Guttenberg added that “no parent or sibling should have to endure the loss from preventable gun violence,” writing that he will never stop fighting for gun reform in honor of his daughter.
Jaime’s mother, Jennifer Guttenberg, posted on Facebook about her daughter’s birthday, writing: “She should be spending the day with her family and friends and not laying in a grave. I feel sick. I am horrified. I feel more sad than I’ve ever felt in my life. I am heartbroken. I am empty.”
Both of Jaime’s parents ended their posts with information about their organization, Orange Ribbons for Jaime, which is dedicated to supporting programs that were important to the late 15-year-old, as well as fighting for gun reform.
Jesse Guttenberg also paid tribute, writing: “Happy bday to my sister. I miss you each and every day, and it sucks that you can’t be getting your permit today. Couldn’t wait to see you drive. I love you Jaime. Fly high and keep dancing.”
In addition to Jaime’s family, several of her classmates and teachers took to Twitter to honor her birthday. Jordana Comiter, Jaime’s friend from dance who was assigned to be her “big sister” at a summer program, wrote about birthdays they celebrated together in the past: “2016: I surprised her with her gift at nationals,” she said. “2017: I took her to dinner at The Melting Pot. 2018: I sat alone at her grave and read her a birthday card. This isn’t the way things should be.” Sarah Lerner, who taught Jaime in school, noted that the teen “made an impact on my life forever.” Jaclyn Corin tweeted that it was “an honor” to dance alongside Jaime, adding: “I promise I will keep fighting.”
Survivors of the Parkland shooting continue to find ways to honor their friends who are no longer living. In addition to remembering the victims on social media, students memorialized their peers at prom and took time to honor them at graduation. Many MSD students also continue to fight for gun reform through powerful protests, and by talking with government officials to hold them accountable and remind them of the change that’s necessary.