Parkland Father Marks Anniversary of Shooting With Letter to Slain Daughter

Fred Guttenberg marked the third anniversary of his 14-year-old daughter's murder in the Parkland shooting by sharing a letter he wrote her.

Jaime Guttenberg was among the 17 students and staff members killed after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018.

On Sunday, her father posted a Twitter thread of a letter to his daughter, in which he vowed to never stop fighting for gun control legislation in her memory.

"Dear Jaime, 3 years ago your voice was silenced," Guttenberg wrote in the first of 11 tweets.

(2,11) 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? pic.twitter.com/VKqvU9vroR

— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) February 14, 2021

(4,11) 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 excitedly looking forward to prom and I should be thinking about the advice I want to give you at graduation. pic.twitter.com/00Jccersul

— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) February 14, 2021

"I sent you and your brother to school to safely learn. I rushed you out the door that morning never expecting what would happen next. A school shooting!!! You were 14 and only a freshman in High School."

He continued: "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?

"I did not... and for that I will carry guilt for the rest of my life."

He apologized for not fighting "the evil of gun violence" before losing his daughter.

Guttenberg also described the difficulty of seeing his daughter's friends celebrate the milestones she didn't live to experience.

"Today you should be a senior in school. We should be celebrating love," he wrote.

(6,11) I smile for all of your friends and then I cry for you. Because of what happened to you, our life has changed. Shortly after your murder, I embarked on a mission to do something about gun violence and this is now my life purpose and mission. pic.twitter.com/OSCwZHWoiK

— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) February 14, 2021

(8,11) making sure that happens. Together, you and I will not stop. In your name and 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 pic.twitter.com/WSpcfVPBhz

— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) February 14, 2021

"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 excitedly looking forward to prom and I should be thinking about the advice I want to give you at graduation."

He added: "While I am so happy to see all of your friends have these experiences, it breaks my soul to know that you are not part of that. 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."

Guttenberg added that his daughter's murder had changed his life and prompted him to embark on a mission "to do something about gun violence."

"This is now my life purpose and mission," he explained. "I failed you by not speaking out before you were killed, I will never stop now."

(10,11) you and I together will keep working to elect new people who want to do this. We worked hard to elect those in place now, and I expect this to be done or we will hold them accountable. I only wish you were here with me… doing this together… pic.twitter.com/h3zI7tb5FZ

— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) February 14, 2021

He went on: "In your name and your memory, gun safety legislation will pass. Because of what happened to you, this country now understands that we need to do better."

Guttenberg said he intends to work with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to tackle the problem of gun violence.

"If it does not happen, then you and I together will keep working to elect new people who want to do this," he added.

"We worked hard to elect those in place now, and I expect this to be done or we will hold them accountable. I only wish you were here with me... doing this together...and 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!!!" He added, before signing off with the words: "Love, Dad."

In an op-ed for Newsweek, Jaime's mother, Jennifer Guttenberg, also wrote about how losing her daughter has changed her—and how she sees "a glimmer of light" now Biden is president.

Fred Guttenberg
Fred Guttenberg, father of murdered Marjory Stoneman Douglas freshman Jamie Guttenberg, participates in a meeting about gun violence with U.S. Senate Democrats in the visitors center of the U.S. Capitol March 7, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images