NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two heroes with roots in the New York area died shielding their students during the massacre in Parkland, Florida.
They were being remembered Friday, by grieving relatives and friends from Long Island.
One student who could not be saved was 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg who also had family in Suffolk County.
“This is a terrible thing. There is nothing worse than this,” Guttenberg’s great uncle Bill Baron said.
Baron, of Commack, shared photos of his murdered grand niece Jaime Guttenberg at a recent family bar mitzvah.
“Who ever thought we’d use this album for this,” he said.
Guttenberg’s parents are originally from Long Island.
“This is impossible, my 14-year-old baby,” her father Fred said.
Lives lost in another inconceivable massacre at a school. In nearby West Islip, the pain from Florida continued in the home of the grandparents of Stoneman Douglas High’s Coach Aaron Feis.
Feis died shielding others from bullets.
“That was Aaron. He was always looking to help and protect and do the best for everybody,” Josephine Feis said.
“He went to that high school and played on the football team at Douglas,” his grandfather Ray said.
Another fallen hero is Scott Beigel. He grew up in Dix Hills and is remembered with fondness and admiration by neighbors.
He was a youth counselor at a camp on Long Island, before moving to Florida to teach at Douglas, and died protecting his students.
“He basically saved my life and if not for him I may not be here today,” one student said.
His parents left Dix Hills to fly to Boca Raton to bury their son.
In New Jersey, Woodcliff Lake residents tied red ribbons around trees in memory of Alyssa Alhadeff.
“She was just that kid that was always happy, always smiling, you wanted to be around her,” a friend said.
Another friend recalled scrapbooking and playing soccer with Alyssa.
“There was not a mean bone in her body. Everyone loved her because she was so nice,” she said.
Families united in grief are now praying for a safer world.