CNN's Brooke Baldwin tears up reading mother's letter to Parkland victim

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin teared up on Tuesday while reading an emotional letter a mother wrote to her daughter who was killed nearly one year ago during the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. 

Baldwin choked up on-air while reading the letter from Lori Alhadeff, whose 14-year-old daughter Alyssa Alhadeff was one of the 17 people killed inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.


“I’m going to try to get through this,” Baldwin said before reading the letter, which Alhadeff published through an online project called Dear World. 

In the letter to her daughter, Alhadeff reminisced about the previous Valentine’s Day and their last interaction before the mass shooting.

The teenager was not looking forward to going to school that day because she wanted a valentine, like so many other 14-year-old girls, her mother wrote.

“High school love is magic. I was 14 once and those butterflies had whirled inside of me too,” Alhadeff wrote. “I wanted that for you.”

Baldwin stopped reading and took a deep breath.

“I want to get through this because these words matter,” the CNN host said.

Alhadeff wrote about surprising her daughter with a gift bag containing a pair of diamond earrings, a chocolate bar and a hair tie.

Their last interaction was in the car as she dropped Alyssa off at school that morning.

The letter details how the family has been coping in the year since the shooting, including her grandmother becoming a school safety activist and by the family getting a new dog named Roxy.

Alhadeff wrote how she has since learned that her daughter once jumped off a bridge by the beach.

“Alyssa, you jumped off a bridge?” Baldwin read from the letter. “There are things I do in your memory that I never thought I could or would ever do. See, a mother’s protective instincts don’t leave when we lose the ones we love.”

Baldwin paused and looked away before continuing to read Alhadeff’s letter with tears in her eyes.

“I talk to other moms who have lost children. We talk about you. We talk about their kids. But when we look into each other’s eyes, we see it. A fire.”

Alhadeff, a former teacher, wrote to her daughter about winning a spot on the Broward County School Board in November. 

She also created Make Schools Safe, an organization dedicated to preventing school shootings.

Alhadeff was in New Jersey last week as Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed Alyssa’s Law, named after her daughter. 

The law, passed in the Democratic-controlled state legislature with bipartisan support, equips all 2,500 public schools with silent panic alarms to help protect students in case of an active shooter or other emergency situation.

“It’s Valentine’s Day,” she wrote in closing. “As I remember you, grief washes over me. But that grief emboldens me to fight for change. I wish I could take all the bullets for you. It’s been a year since I saw you.”