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Parkland students celebrated their prom and those who are 'dancing the night away' in their hearts

Photo: Instagram/WashNews

Seniors at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attended their prom on Saturday, but some moments of the day’s events were, not surprisingly, somber.

Many of the Parkland students are outspoken activists now, and they honored their classmates who were killed in the school shooting in February. But they’re also still teenagers who want to do normal things, and of course many of them want to go to their senior prom.

Anisha Saripalli, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, told NBC News that it was “sad” that her best friend, Carmen Schentrup, couldn’t attend the prom, because she was a victim of the shooting. “She was the most excited to go to prom,” Saripalli said about her friend.

Some of the students honored their lost friends in meaningful ways while still attending the prom. Nicolette Miciotta and Carley Ogozaly honored their slain friend Meadow Pollack by posing for a prom photo with her father, Andrew Pollack. Ogozaly also wore the dress Meadow had planned to wear to the prom, in her memory, the Miami Herald reported. And the teens traveled to the prom in a pink limo that had “We love you, Meadow” written on the windows.


 

 

“I would have just worn a simple black dress,” Ogozaly told the Miami Herald. “But I know Meadow would have argued with me that it would be too plain. Me wearing this pink sparkly thing and me doing my nails the way Meadow would have is my way of making sure Meadow doesn’t miss prom.”

According to the Miami Herald, the Parkland teens who were named among Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People were also at the prom. The teens featured in the magazine included Emma Gonzalez, Alex Wind, Jaclyn Corin, Cameron Kasky, and David Hogg. The teens have fought publicly for stricter gun control legislation after the tragedy at their school. The Parkland students organized the March for Our Lives on March 24, and they’re still advocating for reform.


Another student, Dillon McCooty, accompanied his late friend’s girlfriend to the prom. Joaquin Oliver was also killed in the shooting, so McCooty and Oliver’s girlfriend, Victoria Gonzalez, went to the prom together in his memory.


 

Julia Cordover, Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s senior class president, told NBC News that the prom was “another way to take in the reality of everything” after the tragedy. “It’s not necessarily a celebration but also a remembrance,” Cordover told the outlet. The students are honoring their lost friends, but they’re still living their lives as teens and going to prom.

One student, Sara Imam, wrote on Twitter that the students’ prom photos will include “empty spots” where their lost classmates would have been. “Tmrw, let us celebrate their lives, and enjoy our #prom for them too,” Imam tweeted on Friday.




 

Another student, Demitri Hoth, tweeted that his late friend Carmen Schentrup would be “dancing the night away with me in my heart” at prom.


 

After all the Parkland students have gone through, they deserved an evening to just feel like regular teens again.


 

It’s clear from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students’ actions and tweets that their late classmates will never be forgotten. But it seems they found a way to celebrate their prom night while still honoring those lost.

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