New England Patriots lend team plane to take Parkland students, families to Washington for March for Our Lives rally

Patriots team owner Robert Kraft flew a group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families on the team’s official plane, March 22, 2108, to Washington, D.C. for the March for Our Lives. PlaySuresh Atapattu/Atapattu.net
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The New England Patriots loaned its team plane to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families traveling to Washington, D.C., for the March For Our Lives rally.

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft reached out to the school to offer the use of the private plane for the cause, parent Meredith Barry told ABC News.

Barry took the luxury flight to D.C. on Thursday from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport alongside her 16-year-old daughter, Isabela Barry, a junior at the school who hid in a closet during the Feb. 14 shooting. Isabela's best friend, 17-year-old Helena Ramsay, was one of the 17 people who died that day.

Everything about the flight was "amazing," Barry said, down to the hospitality of the flight crew, who provided "lots of hugs" and "lots of love on that plane yesterday."

Each seat was like "first class" and had a gift and a letter from Kraft in it, Barry said. Food and drinks were served, and a Patriots senior operations manager aboard the flight passed around the team's Super Bowl LI championship ring for everyone to see, Barry said.

PHOTO: Each seat on the New England Patriots team plane felt like first class and had a gift as well as a letter from Patriots owner Robert Kraft.Meredith Barry
Each seat on the New England Patriots team plane felt like "first class" and had a gift as well as a letter from Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

PHOTO: Each seat on the New England Patriots team plane felt like first class and had a gift as well as a letter from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, parent Meredith Barry told ABC News. Courtesy Meredith Barry
Each seat on the New England Patriots team plane felt like "first class" and had a gift as well as a letter from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, parent Meredith Barry told ABC News.

PHOTO: A senior operations manager for the New England Patriots was on the flight and let everyone hold the Super Bowl LI championship ring, parent Meredith Barry told ABC News. Courtesy Meredith Barry
A senior operations manager for the New England Patriots was on the flight and let everyone hold the Super Bowl LI championship ring, parent Meredith Barry told ABC News.

In the letter, Kraft expressed his support for the families on behalf of the Patriots organization.

"In the wake of incredible tragedy, we have hurt for you, mourned with you and been inspired by you," the letter read. "It is an honor for us to now partner with you as you push for progress."

Most of the families of victims who were killed or injured were on the flight, Barry said. While being there was "surreal," Barry described the experience as a "giant family yesterday on that plane."

"There's definitely a lot of emotions," Barry said. "It's very overwhelming, but you can tell there's a common goal with everyone here and what we're trying to do."

The MSD students who survived the shooting are still "scared," especially at the onset of venturing into a large crowd, Barry said.

But "they know is this something they have to do, because they need to be heard," she said.

PHOTO: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students traveled to Washington, D.C. on the New England Patriots team plane, which was loaned to them for March For Our Lives, March 22, 2018.Courtesy Meredith Barry
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students traveled to Washington, D.C. on the New England Patriots team plane, which was loaned to them for March For Our Lives, March 22, 2018.

Roberta Weber, whose 16-year-old daughter, Melanie Weber, and 14-year-old son, Jake Weber, attend MSD, said the students are "passionate about this cause."

"We will not rest until something is done," she said. "It cannot go on the way it is now."

Weber and Melanie took the "wonderful" flight up to D.C. together, where "everybody was so sweet and so kind," she said.

While the perks did lift their spirits, they were also a staunch reminder as to why they were traveling to the march in the first place.

"It cheers us up a little, but it's also with a heavy heart," Weber said. "We would not have any of this if [the shooting] had not happened."

PHOTO: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students traveled to Washington, D.C. on the New England Patriots team plane, which was loaned to them for March For Our Lives, March 22, 2018.Courtesy Meredith Barry
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students traveled to Washington, D.C. on the New England Patriots team plane, which was loaned to them for March For Our Lives, March 22, 2018.

Barry and Weber's daughters are traveling on behalf of the newly minted Shine MSD, an organization started by the school's drama club that aims to provide healing in the community through the arts and help students find a voice through music. Two students wrote a song called "Shine," which will be performed during the march.

"They're trying to find a way to speak," Barry said. "It's hard to talk. They kind of break down a lot. They're trying to find ways to heal, but in a positive way."

Weber's son, Jake, lost a good friend in the shooting and decided to not attend the march, she said, adding that her children have been dealing with the tragedy in different ways. While Melanie has found her activist voice -- even traveling to Tallahassee with other students to demonstrate for gun safety -- Jake has been more reclusive with his emotions.

Patriots team owner Robert Kraft flew a group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families on the team’s official plane, March 22, 2108, to Washington, D.C. for the March for Our Lives. Suresh Atapattu/Atapattu.net
Patriots team owner Robert Kraft flew a group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families on the team’s official plane, March 22, 2108, to Washington, D.C. for the March for Our Lives.

On Sunday, when the activists leave D.C., the Patriots team plane will also be used for their return flight home.

"What the Patriots did and the way they treated everybody was unbelievable," Barry said.

True to her Floridian roots, Barry typically roots for the Miami Dolphins, she said. But, another team in the NFL's AFC East may have just wiggled their way into her heart.

"If I could hug every Patriot right now, I would," she said.

The Patriots did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Thousands of demonstrators are expected to attend the March for Our Lives rally, organized by the MSD students in the wake of the shooting that targeted their classmates and teachers.

PHOTO: Construction workers setup the March For Our Lives stage ahead of the anti-gun rally in Washington, D.C., on March 23, 2018.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
Construction workers setup the March For Our Lives stage ahead of the anti-gun rally in Washington, D.C., on March 23, 2018.

PHOTO: A student paints a sign to be carried at the upcoming March for Our Lives on March 22, 2018 in Los Angeles. Mario Tama/Getty Images
A student paints a sign to be carried at the upcoming March for Our Lives on March 22, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Students are using the slogan "Never Again" and calling on lawmakers to make schools safer and enact tougher gun laws.

The march will start at noon ET in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

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