DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – As people across the U.S. are honoring the victims of the Parkland school shooting Thursday, many students in South Florida used the one-year anniversary of the shooting as a day of service.
Some of those students gathered at the Deerfield Beach Pier to clean up the sand in honor of one of the 17 victims killed last Valentine's Day.
The beach cleanup was in honor of Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, whose mother organized the event.
Dozens of people participated in the cleanup, trudging through sand and picking up everything from bigger trash to the tiniest piece of litter.
"Our friends are here and my family," Lori Alhadeff said. "I'm so excited and happy to be able to share this with them and heal together and love together."
Alyssa's mother said Deerfield Beach was an important spot to her daughter, as it's where she spent countless hours relaxing and just having fun.
"Deerfield Beach was a really special place for Alyssa to come to, to be here at the beach with her friends and hang out," Lori Alhadeff said. "There were not rules here and I'm even told she jumped off a bridge around here."
The group sifted through the sand, picking up trash and writing messages, paying tribute to all of the victims and honoring Alyssa's memory.
"We love you, Alyssa, and we miss you so much. We just want you back," Lori Alhadeff said.
Alyssa's family is also trying to create what they are calling Alyssa's Law, which would put a silent alarm in every single classroom in the state to call police in case of an emergency.