The event was supposed to be a happy one: a celebration to honor those who were graduating from Santa Fe High School.
But just two days earlier, the school had been the site of a horrific massacre that claimed 10 lives. And it colored everything about the end-of-school baccalaureate ceremony at Arcadia Baptist Church on Sunday.
"To the seniors, I would like to be able to tell you on your graduation, that you're going to embark on this life that is filled with happiness, and fun, and it's going to be wonderful for you," said Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady. "But I cannot, because you are not."
Roady had been scheduled to speak weeks in advance, but this certainly wasn't the message he'd planned to give to the packed church.
"You are entering into a war zone in this world, and it's a spiritual war zone," he said.
He acknowledged he knew the students were still suffering from the shooting -- in "ways that no one else can understand."
"You are already dealing with the full effects of sin in our world," he said.