The last 24-plus hours have not been easy for those in Parkland, Florida and for Chicago Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo. After a gunman shot and killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, the Cubs Slugger , who went to the high school, left Spring Training to be back with his family and friends in the community. On Thursday night he gave heartfelt speech at a vigil in the community.
“I only am who I am because of this community,” Rizzo said. “I just want you all to know how proud I am to be a part of this community. I want you to know you are not alone in your grief. We are grieving with you. The entire country is grieving with you. So whatever cover I can give I will give. Whatever support I can offer to our students, teachers, coaches and families and first responders, you’ll have it.”
Then Rizzo fought back tears remembering his days at the high school.
“I grew up in Stoneman Douglas,” Rizzo said, fighting back tears. “I played on those fields. I went to those classes. I studied in those classrooms—the same school we saw in videos yesterday for all the wrong reasons. We see this on TV too often. I feel like it is all the time—it is. There’s a cycle to it. We get horrified that this violence is inflicted on these kids. We get angry that there is nothing we can do and nothing is done about it. Then we ultimately get immune and move on to something else. But then it happens in our own town. In your own school or the movie theater or night club or a church and we realize it can happen to us.”
“There are a lot of communities out there that know exactly what we are going through right now and have to relive this moments again and again,” he said. “Look, I’m a baseball player, but I’m also an American. I’m a Floridian and I’m a Parklander for life. I know I don’t have all the answers, but something has to change before this is visited by another community and another community and another community.”