Justin Moore just released his "The Ones Who Didn't Make It Back Home" video, and it is powerful. The song, which is from his upcoming Late Nights and Longnecks album, honors veterans and first responders, as well as teachers and students who experience school shootings.
Moore was inspired to write the song while he and his band were en route to play a benefit for victims of the Parkland school shooting, when 17 students and teachers died last year when a gunman opened fire.
“I’m of the belief that when God allows you to have a platform like I have, you’re supposed to use it for good,” Moore said at the benefit concert. “I’m a father of four. I send each and every one of them to school every day and drop them off."
"My first prayer is that they’ll come home safe that afternoon," he continued. "I can’t even fathom what these families up here — and maybe some of you guys — have had to deal with and the difficulty this has caused ... Just know that from me and my camp that we’ll be praying for your continued healing, and we hope and pray that one day, at some point, you’ll see your loved ones again.”
Moore's social media manager, Cody Villalobobs, a former EMT, directed the video, which uses real firefighters, with veterans were on set during the video shoot, to make sure the actors wore the gear correctly.
“I felt that only showing military visuals didn’t give tribute to everyone who might connect to this song, and not to all who inspired Justin to write the song in the first place," Villalobobs told PEOPLE. "Since we were on our way to a tribute show for a school shooting, that was fresh in my mind. I had to pay tribute and honor the ones that didn’t make it back home from school, as well as home from the line of duty and overseas.”
For Moore and Villalobobs, it was important that the video show not only those whose lives are lost, but the impact their loss has on those left behind.
“Just like most people are connected to someone in these lines of duty," Villabobs said, "I wanted to portray the residual effects of losing someone and how many people it affects."0comments
Late Nights and Longnecks will be released on April 26. Download "The Ones Who Didn't Make It Back Home" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of BMLG/J. Meyers