Nicolle Martin, 14, is a survivor of the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of ABC News.
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There are no words to describe the pain I feel right now, the pain we feel, the students, the staff, the community. We were torn and broken by the acts of a man with no mercy. In a matter of 10 minutes, he changed our lives forever.
We were forced to see things and hear things that no child or adult should ever have to see: The sounds of bullets, screams of their dying friends, and thousands of kids running for their lives. No prayers or words can make us unsee these things -- lifeless bodies on the floor, bullets in the walls and crying children, running away from the crime scene in their school with their hands up.
Tell me the last time your teenager was on the phone with the FBI. Tell me the last time they were questioned about the rifle used in a massacre and the amount of dead bodies they saw. The last time they had to sit worried, not knowing if their friends were alive. The last time they felt so broken and robbed of life.
Today I attended the funeral and burial for just one of the 17 victims. I am a 14-year-old girl, and I was joined with hundreds of other students my age. How sick and twisted is this? Countless high schoolers at the funeral for their classmate who was shot and killed. Her life taken from her. Her future gone. And they had to see it all. The tears, the screams, the aching family and friends. And we saw it all. We felt it all. And we will continue to be burdened by this for years to come.
You can’t bring back the lives of those 17 kids. There’s no undoing the pain.
But we will not be defined by this.
In just a few months, Marjory Stoneman Douglas has become my second home. I will finish high school at this school, which I am proud to attend. We will not be known as another statistic. We will not be defined as the school with the third deadliest school shooting in America.
We are much more than that: We are positive, we are passionate and we are proud. We will stick together and make it through this together.
We are more than just another statistic. We are a family, and family sticks together.