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A Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduate is making a sculpture to honor the shooting victims

On the night of the Parkland shooting, Zachary Knudson couldn't sleep. So he turned to what he does best -- designing...

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 5:41 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2018 5:41 PM

On the night of the Parkland shooting, Zachary Knudson couldn't sleep. So he turned to what he does best -- designing.

The glass artist graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2005 and has lived in the area for 31 years. Some of the 17 victims killed on February 14, including Coach Aaron Feis, lived in his neighborhood.

Knudson felt devastated by the tragedy striking his hometown and needed a way to express his grief. Creating a sculpture to commemorate those who lost their lives seemed like the natural solution.

Within a few days, he completed the design: A metal and impact glass installation, standing approximately 17 feet tall and punctuated by fragments of colorful laminate. The names of the "17 angels," as Knudson calls them, will be boldly listed on one side.

"The shape of the structure and broken lines signify shattered glass like our shattered hearts, but it still holds together strong, mended to be even stronger than before," Knudson wrote in a Facebook post. "The sunlight passing through the colored glass and etched names will cast colorful shadows in all directions -- a reminder that from darkness comes a glimmer of hope and light."

The artist also plans to install LED lights in order for the names to shine bright through the night. He is reaching out to victims' families so they can contribute ideas for colors and a quote to include on the sculpture.

"It's for everyone, and we want everybody involved," he tells CNN.

He also wants every student from Stoneman Douglas to mark their hands onto the concrete base of the piece. This way, the memorial will be surrounded by thousands of handprints "as a sign of unity."

Knudson received an outpouring of support from his community as soon as he announced the project. Local companies, including some headed by the parents of current and former students, jumped to donate supplies.

With everything paid for, the only thing left is a place to put the sculpture.

The mayor and vice mayor of Parkland are aware and excited about the installation, Knudson says, but the city is busy dealing with the aftermath of the mass shooting.

He hopes his sculpture finds a home at a public park or at the school soon so he can get bring it to life.

"As long as it's centralized and accessible to everyone, we're happy with wherever it goes," he says.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 153270

Reported Deaths: 3807
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10332104
Hinds10190199
Harrison7244111
Jackson6521124
Rankin5805103
Lee523695
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Forrest388286
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Tate177051
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Newton108029
Tallahatchie97727
Clay93427
Clarke93053
Jasper84822
Stone80015
Calhoun78113
Walthall77229
Montgomery75825
Carroll74015
Lawrence73414
Smith72816
Noxubee72517
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Perry68126
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Jefferson Davis58817
Amite55814
Humphreys54719
Benton49918
Quitman4977
Webster46414
Kemper44718
Wilkinson40422
Jefferson36411
Franklin3535
Choctaw3507
Sharkey32317
Issaquena1204
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 249524

Reported Deaths: 3578
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33064500
Mobile19951362
Madison13596148
Tuscaloosa13246154
Montgomery12435236
Shelby1061677
Baldwin889098
Lee781466
Morgan686150
Etowah643966
Calhoun6430121
Marshall635355
Houston537738
DeKalb492236
Cullman451542
Limestone433345
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Elmore412964
Walker3710111
Talladega359354
Jackson329823
Colbert329642
Blount299740
Autauga278042
Franklin256434
Coffee248315
Dale236254
Chilton227438
Dallas226832
Russell22383
Covington220434
Escambia198931
Tallapoosa184391
Chambers177950
Pike159914
Clarke159819
Marion143636
Winston135123
Lawrence131636
Pickens125718
Geneva12438
Marengo123124
Bibb119617
Barbour117811
Butler117842
Randolph104921
Cherokee103424
Hale97831
Fayette92516
Washington92219
Clay92024
Henry8756
Lowndes80229
Monroe79011
Cleburne77814
Macon74522
Crenshaw72030
Bullock70219
Perry6906
Lamar6898
Conecuh68814
Wilcox64218
Sumter58622
Greene42818
Choctaw42713
Coosa3544
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