Trump marks Parkland school shooting anniversary

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE on Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 students and faculty dead. 

In a statement commemorating the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which took place on Valentine's Day last year, Trump touted efforts made to improve school safety across the country.

“One year ago today, a horrific act of violence took the lives of 14 students and 3 educators in Parkland, Florida. On this somber anniversary, we honor their memory and recommit to ensuring the safety of all Americans, especially our Nation’s children,” Trump said in the statement.

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“The day after the tragedy in Parkland, I told the Nation that school safety would be a top priority for my Administration. We took immediate action, committing ourselves to a sacred vow to do everything in our power to ensure that evil does not stalk our children on the playgrounds or in the hallways of our Nation’s schools.”

Shortly after the attack in Parkland, Trump held a listening session with survivors and family members of victims of school shootings, fielding a wide range of suggestions on how to prevent potential shooters from obtaining weapons and how to fortify schools against such incidents. The listening session resulted in the formation of the Federal Commission on School Safety.

Trump also signed the STOP School Violence Act and Fix NICS Act, which reauthorized a Justice Department program combatting school shootings and helped ensure all criminal background information, including domestic violence records, would be accurately submitted and reviewed prior to any gun purchase, respectively.

The shooting sparked the March For Our Lives movement, which held a national march last year advocating for gun control and other measures. Trump has received criticism from liberal activists, including many Parkland survivors and parents of Parkland victims, for focusing much of his response to school shootings on mental health issues and adding security to schools rather than acting on gun control efforts.

Much of the focus Thursday was on commemorating the victims of the shooting. Social media was filled with messages honoring the 14 students and three staffers who were killed after a former student at the school opened fire.

“Melania and I join all Americans in praying for the continued healing of those in the Parkland community and all communities where lives have been lost to gun violence.  We reaffirm the bonds of faith, family, community, and country that unite us as one Nation.  Today, as we hold in our hearts each of those lost a year ago in Parkland, let us declare together, as Americans, that we will not rest until our schools are secure and our communities are safe,” Trump said in his statement.