Exactly seven days before the seven-month anniversary of the worst high school mass shooting in U.S. history, that school’s football team returned to its home stadium for the first time, hosted its first homecoming since the tragedy, and won the game.
In fact, it wasn’t just the fact that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. emerged from homecoming victorious, it was the margin of victory against South Broward that was so notable; the Eagles won by 17, 23-6, in their first home game since 17 were killed in the mass shooting.
The game, just as the team’s entire season, was dedicated to the 17 who lost their life in the shooting, including assistant football coach Aaron Feis.
The game was played on a field emblazoned with MSDStrong, in front of a raucously supportive crowd braying for a victory to help turn another chapter in the school’s long recovery from the Valentine’s Day violence.
That the final score provided an unsuspecting bridge to the tragedy could serve in some way to put a bow on Douglas’ return to its home turf.
The Eagles are home, and their fallen are not forgotten.