After a very trying second half of the school year, the Parkland, Florida, students who survived a school shooting and then started a gun control movement deserved a moment to relax. When you see
photos from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School prom, you'll know that on that night, they received that moment — but they still didn't allow their missing friends to leave their minds.
Sun-Sentinel reported on what organizers aimed to make a magical night, which included a ballroom set up like an enchanted forest complete with real butterflies released from the roof and actors dressed as wood nymphs and other woodland creatures.
According to CNN, the attendees only had to pay a fraction of the normal cost of a prom ticket, because
the committee received so many in-kind donations. CNN reported that the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort donated the space and the catering, for example. A team of make-up artists and hairstylists also all donated their services in what NBC News reported was called the Beautifully Strong Douglas Prom Makeover Event for any student who was interested.
A huge part of the celebration, of course, was also a tribute to the classmates who lost their lives, CNN reported. With these pictures from the event, you can see a little bit of everything.
Photos from the MSD principal's account show what a gorgeous affair it was.
A Mother Speaking For Her Daughter
Under those smiles and beautiful get-ups, all of the seniors were feeling their missing classmates.
The principal posted a picture of surely one of the most enchanted elements of the whole prom: the donut walls.
The Whole Prom: A Tribute
Normally celebratory events take on a new level of meaningfulness when they happen in the wake of tragedy — and this prom was no exception.
The Missing Seniors, Remembered
Two hours before it started, the ballroom looked stunning.
After all, what's a prom without the crowning of a king and queen?
Familiar Faces In The Crowd
Taking A Break From Organizing — Finally
MSD senior Sophie Whitney, another student who has stepped to the forefront of the #NeverAgain movement, expressed her pride with a series of photos taken before the prom.
A beautiful prom for the Stoneman Douglas students, of course, doesn't change anything in the long run. It doesn't mean that their drive to change America's gun laws will be any easier, that they'll encounter any less resistance, or that it will be any less difficult to move forward with their lives without their lost friends there with them. However, it's still worth taking a night away from everything else to relax, celebrate, and simply remember the people who couldn't be there.