Jimmy Fallon made a surprise visit at the graduation ceremony for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, delivering an encouraging speech to the audience.
“When something feels hard, remember that it gets better… Choose to move forward, and don’t let anything stop you,” Fallon told the crowd. He also noted the students’ bravery and courage, according to Fox News.
The graduation ceremony marked the end of a tragic school year due to the deadly mass shooting at the high school. Of the victims, four students were seniors: Nicholas Dworet, Joaquin Oliver, Meadow Pollack, and Carmen Schentrup. The ceremony honored the four students, and the four were also awarded posthumous degrees.
Fallon’s speech aimed to encourage and uplift the students in wake of the terrible tragedy.
“You are not just the future — you are the present. Keep changing the world. Keep making us proud.”
The speech wasn’t all serious, either. Fallon injected some humor when he could.
“Today you’re graduating from high school… 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.”
Fallon also took the time to recognize the achievements of the students who helped organize the March for Our Lives protest, reported CNN.
The students were surprised and pleased to see Fallon at their graduation, and it’s likely to have made their day a little brighter.
Meanwhile, shocking new information has been surfacing about the gunman, Nikolas Cruz. The Miami Herald noted that Cruz made cellphone videos prior to the shootings making bold threats against the school. These included phrases like “With the power of my AR-15 you will all know who I am.” Cruz also said that other students thought he was an “idiot” even though according to him, the students were “brainwashed by these f***ing political government programs.” Cruz also announced his intentions in a video.
“Hello. My name is Nik and I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018… My goal is at least 20 people with an AR-15… Location is Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida.”
Cruz is facing a potential death penalty trial. The videos are likely going to be used against Cruz to convict him of first-degree murder. The cellphone videos were released due to a media request for discovery.
Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime Guttenberg, who was killed during the school shooting, expressed his thoughts.
“What [Cruz] did has resulted in him being in jail where he will rot and die. He was caught and he is going to be abused in prison until he dies.”
The school shooting was the beginning of what appeared to be a new wave of gun control protests and discussions that swept the nation. Some states passed new gun laws with stricter rules for those who want to own or purchase guns.