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Jimmy Fallon showed up in Parkland, Florida on Sunday night to send off the seniors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during their graduation ceremony. After a school shooting on Valentine’s Day left 17 dead, students like David Hogg and Emma González have become prominent activists for gun control. The late-night comic was on hand to toast their work.
“Thank you for your courage and your bravery,” Fallon said. “You are not just the future, you are the present. Keep changing the world. Keep making us proud.”
Fallon also made time to yuck with the teens of Parkland, which is just north of Miami.
“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.”
The event brightened a somber occasion as four families received diplomas for students who died during the school shooting.
But Fallon’s message was one of hope and to keep fighting. Given the national wave of activism the Parkland students have sparked, they seem to be hearing him loud and clear.
Ramon Ramirez is the news director, and formerly the Dot's entertainment editor and evening editor. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Grantland, Washington City Paper, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Monitor.