The Unfillable Chair
A Santa Fe Ten Memorial Remembrance Piece
For those that have experienced the loss of a loved one, there is a void in their lives that is palpable. Whether it is at school, at the dining table, or an important gathering -- it is evident there is an empty space. The Unfillable Chair represents that absence. It is place where no one else can sit. It is a space that no one else can fill.
Five Santa Fe High School students and alumni from the Class of 2018 - 2021 have designed a remembrance piece to be built as a precursor to the larger planned Santa Fe Ten Memorial so that those we lost will be remembered, honored and celebrated by all who were present that tragic day.
The students started the design process with each of their own renderings. They then met with members of the community, the Santa Fe Ten Memorial Foundation, family members, and professionals from National Signs to choose the best elements of each proposal and develop a final meaningful and elegant piece. The Unfillable Chair proposal was approved to support fundraising efforts by the Santa Fe Ten Memorial Foundation on March 4, 2021, then presented by the students to the Santa Fe Independent School District (SFISD) Board of Trustees at a workshop and subsequently accepted as a donation to the district on March 29, 2021.
The Unfillable Chair was dedicated by the students at a ceremony on the third anniversary, May 18, 2021, at 3:30 pm at the high school. Watch the full ceremony here.
Meet The Student Designers
Class of 2018
I think the remembrance piece is a good way for the students at Santa Fe and all of those affected in the community to have the beginnings of a sacred space where those who have fallen can be grieved, remembered, and honored. I also think it serves as a reminder to our community to stand together, to not isolate others and to make the most of the time God gives us here on earth with our family our friends and community. I think the crossed Indian arrows convey this well with the many meanings it can take on... Crossed arrows for the Indians, our mascot, as a symbol of the community and the crossed nature of the arrows showing the inter reliance and strength within Santa Fe. Then, also the “X shape” the arrows make creates the roman numeral for 10. Making this aspect of The [Unfillable] Chair the perfect way to honor and remember the ten we lost on 05/18/18.
Class of 2020
My favorite element of the Unfillable Chair is the crossed arrows because it represents the Roman numeral 10, and seeing the Ten names lit up through the night. The Unfillable Chair makes me think of how my heart won’t be filled by anyone else. That piece of my heart will always feel empty. I will carry love for those we lost on May 18 in my heart for the rest of my life.
Class of 2019
Class of 2021
The Unfillable Chair means to me that no matter what happens, there is a void in our lives, and that can’t be fulfilled and will forever be there. Even though our fellow loved ones have passed, we should recognize that they are not to be replaced, but to be forever known. They are our loved ones, and I never want their names forgotten.
Class of 2021
To me, the Unfillable Chair represents the void that can never be filled. It's the reminder that a loved one is gone, was taken too soon, and can never be gotten back. My favorite element of the chair is the illuminated clear base. I think that it gives the piece almost an ethereal, perhaps angelic, feeling.
Official Press Release by Laura Frnka-Davis, LFD Communications | May 5, 2021 | "Santa Fe Students Design the Unfillable Chair to Honor Fallen Classmates and Teachers"
KHOU 11 | May 5, 2021 | "Classmates design 'The Unfillable Chair' in honor of victims in Santa Fe High School shooting"
The Galveston Daily News | May 8, 2021 | "Foundation to dedicate 'Unfillable Chair' memorial to Santa Fe shooting victims"
i45NOW | May 16, 2021 | "'Unfillable chair' designed by former students to honor fallen classmates"
i45NOW | May 16, 2021 | "Fundraising still needed for Santa Fe memorial"
FOX 26 | May 16, 2021 | "Memorial built to honor fallen students, teachers from mass shooting at Santa Fe High School"
Houston Chronicle | May 17, 2021 | "'Unfillable Chair' memorial to be unveiled on Santa Fe shooting's 3rd anniversary"
FOX 26 | May 17, 2021 | "New memorial to be unveiled on three year mark of deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School"
Natalie Hee FOX 26 | May 17, 2021 | Facebook
FOX 26 | May 18, 2021 | "Santa Fe community pays tribute to fallen 10 three years after deadly shooting"
i45NOW | May 18, 2021 | "Three years on, memorial erected in tribute to those killed at Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018"
Telemundo Houston | May 18, 2021 | "Tercer aniversario de masacre en Santa Fe"
Houston Public Media | May 18, 2021 | "The Santa Fe High School Shooting: 3 Years Later"
KHOU 11 | May 18, 2021 "Watch live: 'Unfillable Chair' dedication in honor of 2018 Santa Fe High School students"
KPRC 2 | May 18, 2021 | "‘Unfillable Chair’ memorial honors Santa Fe HS shooting victims"
The Washington Post | May 18, 2021 | "'Unfillable' memorial honors Texas school shooting victims"
CW39 | May 18, 2021 | "3 Years Later: Remembering Santa Fe High School victims"
ABC News | May 18, 2021 | "'Unfillable' memorial honors Texas school shooting victims"
WBAP News Talk | May 19, 2021 | "‘Unfillable Chair’ Memorial Honors Texas School Shooting Victims"
Houston Chronicle | May 19, 2021 | "Three years after Santa Fe shooting, victims' families and community still seeking answers"
US News | May 19, 2021 | "'Unfillable' memorial honors Texas school shooting victims"