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Thousands attend funerals for Jewish victims of Florida school shooting

Fiancée of teacher Scott Beigel reveals he left instructions for his eulogy if he was caught in a shooting incident

    The mourners included students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
    The mourners included students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (Photo: Getty Images)

    Thousands of people attended the funerals of 14-year-old Jewish students Jaime Guttenberg and Alex Schachter, who were among the victims of last Wednesday’s school shooting in Florida.

    Mourners wore ribbons coloured orange - Jaime’s favourite - on their clothes for Sunday’s service, which was led by Jonathan Kaplan, the rabbi at Temple Beth Chai synagogue in Coral Springs.

    A Fort Lauderdale convention centre had to be used to accommodate the vast numbers of people, many of them schoolchildren, wanting to pay their respects.

    A separate service was held for their teacher Scott Beigel, 35, who died saving many students during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

    Pallbearers carry the coffin of geography teacher Scott Beigel
    Pallbearers carry the coffin of geography teacher Scott Beigel (Photo: Getty Images)

    After he was laid to rest in the city of Boca Raton, his fiancée Gwen Gossler said that while watching the aftermath of a previous school shooting, Mr Beigel had given her instructions about his eulogy.

    “Promise me if this ever happens to me, you will tell them the truth — tell them what a jerk I am, don’t talk about the hero stuff,” the New York Post reported her saying.

    “OK, Scott, I did what you asked. Now I can tell the truth. You are an amazingly special person. You are my first love and my soulmate.’’

    Scott Beigel
    Scott Beigel (Photo: Facebook)

    After the students’ funeral, Rabbi Kaplan told the family and friends at meeting at the Marriott Coral Springs Hotel: “We don’t move on, we move forward. We keep focused on how Jaime lived, not how she died.”

    But there was anger at the way the students died. Jaime Guttenberg was reportedly killed with a bullet to the back and her father Fred denounced Donald Trump during the gathering.

    “Nobody will tell me that gun violence does not exist,” he said, according to the Miami Herald.

    He was responding to a tweet by the president suggesting the FBI may have prevented the tragedy if it was not preoccupied with allegations of Russian collusion in 2016 election campaign.

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