Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school in Parkland, Florida, students have been through an incredibly difficult year. And their graduation ceremony would have been a somber event – a mix of both sorrow and joy. However, Jimmy Fallon made a surprise appearance, offering students and their families something to smile about.
On Sunday, over 700 seniors attended their graduation. They celebrated their high school achievements, but they also honored four classmates who had been killed during the deadly shooting on February 14. These four students were awarded posthumous diplomas.
Fallon, who surprised the graduating class of 2018, has already engaged with Parkland students, when he attended the March of Our Lives event back in March. There, he joined shooting survivors and thousands of others to demand a change in gun control legislature.
In his second meeting with Parkland students, Fallon acknowledged the tragedy they survived, saying, “The whole world has heard your voice…You are not just the future – you are the present. Keep changing the world. Keep making us proud.”
But the comedian also cracked a couple jokes, too. Here’s an excerpt from Fallon’s speech: “You should feel incredibly proud of yourselves. That doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels — or your yannys.”
“Some of you will grow up to hear yanny, some of you will grow up to hear laurel, but the most important thing for you to know is that neither of these things will matter by the end of the summer. 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 ten years.”