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Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo honors Parkland school shooting victims on anniversary

Anthony Rizzo honors the victims of the Parkland school shooting on the one year anniversary. | Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo honored the 17 victims of the Parkland school shooting on the one-year anniversary of that tragic day.

“Today marks one year since an unspeakable tragedy happened in my hometown,” Rizzo tweeted Thursday morning. “On this day, and everyday, we honor the 17 lives lost. We are #MSDStrong.”

Rizzo, a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2007, also shared a photo of four candles burning with the text: “We remember” along with the victims’ names.

Rizzo left Cubs spring training last year at this time to console his family and community after hearing the news that a former student armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle had opened fire in the school, killing 17 people.

At a vigil after the shooting, an emotional Rizzo offered words of encouragement.

“I want you to know you’re not alone in your grief,” he said while fighting back tears. “I grew up in Stoneman Douglas. I played on those fields. I went to those classes. I studied in those classrooms.

“The same school we saw in all those videos yesterday . . . for all the wrong reasons.”

Rizzo remains a strong presence in his hometown, which is located about an hour north of Miami. He won the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award for his community involvement and contributions off the field.