Thousands of students and supporters ascended on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Saturday for the March for Our Lives rally to advocate for reforms to the nation’s gun laws. On an inspiring day over a somber topic that no young person should have to wrestle with, the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft made the trip very special for families impacted by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. “Mr. Kraft has provided the team plane for the families of the 17 victims to fly from Florida to Washington DC for the March for Our Lives,” a Patriots spokesperson said.
— Kali Clougherty #ShineMSD (@kali4change) March 23, 2018
According to FOX 25 in Boston via Yahoo Sports, the Patriots provided the transportation to the students and families of the victims using one of the two planes the team purchased last year. The Patriots bought the planes at a time when multiple airlines were putting the squeeze on NFL teams. The move gave the Patriots flexibility to use the planes however they see fit in any given offseason, and the Patriots have decided to support the cause. Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, operate an anti-gun violence organization, and reached out to Kraft for assistance. The Patriots are the only NFL team to own their planes. It is painted with the team’s logo and colors, and has five Super Bowl trophies painted on the tail. Many of the families took to social media to express their gratitude and show off their ride.
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 — sawyer garrity | #shineMSD (@SawyerRayne) March 22, 2018
With an estimated 800,000 protesters in attendance, the event is on track to be the largest single-day protest in the history of the nation’s capital. The march was organized by survivors of the Parkland, FL shooting. Emma González, one of the leading voices of the movement since the Parkland massacre stated, “Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds, the shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle and blend in with the students so he can walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it is someone else’s job.” Photo Credit: NBC News The families transported to the event will also fly home on the Patriots plane. This gesture will never replace those lost in multiple school shootings across the country but it was an amazing show of support from the five-time Super Bowl champs!
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families boarding the @Patriots plane from #FLL to attend the #MarchForOurLives rally in Washington, DC this weekend. #MSDStrong pic.twitter.com/Ja0HwMEwfS
— Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport (FLL) (@FLLFlyer) March 23, 2018
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