Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were flown to Washington, D.C., on Thursday on the New England Patriots’ official plane ahead of the “March for Our Lives” against gun violence this Saturday, reports The Boston Globe.
Team owner Robert Kraft provided the plane to fly the families of the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 shooting and some of the students who were injured to the nation’s capital for the march, Patriots spokesman Stacey James said.
— Kali Clougherty #ShineMSD (@kali4change) March 23, 2018
Heading to D.C. & I’m so thankful to be here with so many amazing people. Thank you @Patriots for donating your plane to help us get to D.C.! And always so happy to have @isabelabarry by my side through everything I do✨💗 pic.twitter.com/o8I7EfzQED
— soy | #shineMSD (@SawyerRayne) March 22, 2018
Kraft’s decision came at the behest of former Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords (D) and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly. The couple founded Giffords, a gun violence prevention group, after the former congresswoman was shot in the head in Arizona during a public event in 2011.
“Not only did their friends and teachers get shot and killed, other friends shot and injured … most of them they had bullets flying over their heads,” Kelly told The Washington Post. “This is not fair that they have to deal with something like this at their age. They wanted to go to Washington and be heard, and so I felt it was our obligation to help them.”
The team plane will reportedly bring the students back to Florida after the march.