By Mercedes Leguizamon and Brandon Griggs
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — The 2018 graduating class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be forever linked to tragedy. And when the school’s seniors cross a stage in June to get their diplomas, they’ll have the option of wearing a special commemorative sash.
The gold sashes will say “MSD Strong” and will be offered free to all graduating seniors, teachers and staff. Herff Jones, the Indiana-based company that makes class rings, graduation gowns and other related materials, is donating 1,100 of the sashes to the Parkland, Florida, school.
Chuck Puleri, the Broward County representative for Herff Jones, said the company wanted to show support for the school after the February 14 shooting that claimed 17 lives.
“This whole tragedy has affected everyone,” Puleri said.
The sashes will be distributed with graduation caps and gowns.
The seniors at MSD aren’t the only Florida students who will be honoring the school.
Puleri and Herff Jones have made “MSD Strong” lapel pins for every graduating senior in Broward County. Like the sashes, they also will be donated.
“Nothing will ever be sold,” Puleri said. “If there’s any pins left over or anything like that I’ll donate them, but I don’t want to have anything sold related to this tragedy.”
Pulari said it’s the first time he’s done something like this. He also hopes it will be the last.
“It brings tears to your eyes,” he said. “It’s just had a huge effect on me, and we’re just trying to do the right thing.”
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