Jimmy Fallon made a surprise speech for the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday, June 3. Back in February, a gunman killed 17 people during a mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida, school.
“Today you’re graduating from high school. You should feel incredibly proud of yourselves,” the late-night host, 43, told the packed crowd. “You are not just the future — you are the present. Keep changing the world. Keep making us proud.”
He continued: “Here’s what will matter: You, the class of 2018, will have graduated, and you won’t be classmates anymore. You’ll be adults who Facebook search each other at two in the morning for the next 10 years.”
Four families received diplomas on behalf of their loved ones who were killed in the tragedy. Jokes aside, Fallon encouraged the graduating class to not let anything stop them in the future. “When something feels hard, remember that it gets better. Choose to move forward. Don’t let anything stop you,” he noted.
Fallon stayed for the entire ceremony and even posed for photos with some of the attendees. In March, he stood united with the students as he joined “March for Our Lives” in Washington to demand the end of gun violence.
“I think what the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are doing is unbelievable. They’re speaking out with more guts, passion, conviction and common sense than most adults,” he said during The Tonight Show in February. “They’re high school students — it’s beyond impressive — the strength that they have is inspiring. They’re angry and they are doing something about it and creating change. This is a real revolution.”
He added: “I just want to say I stand behind you guys and I’ll be marching alongside you with my wife and two children in D.C. to show our support. To everyone of you who is speaking out — thank you.”
On Sunday, he recalled taking part in the inspirational day. “Thank you for your courage and your bravery,” he said, “and for giving amazing speeches I could never possibly live up to.”
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