President Joe Biden gave a surprise video address to graduating seniors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland yesterday.
The Parkland students remembered those classmates lost in their freshman year to gun violence as they picked up their diplomas.
The President spoke to the students who were freshman when a deadly mass shooting at the school left 17 dead; 14 of whom were students on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
Biden-Parkland Graduation – Been Tested
“Three years ago, your lives and the lives of this community changed in an instant. This class lost a piece of its soul,” Biden said in video remarks, referring to the 2018 massacre that killed 17 people and injured 17 others at the Broward County, Fla., high school. “You’ve been tested in ways no young person should ever have to face.”
“From a freshman year, a year of unspeakable loss, to a junior and senior year upended by a pandemic, the story of this class and the Parkland community isn’t just a story of pain. It’s a story of resilience, turning pain to purpose, darkness to light,” the president continued. “This is the legacy you’re building, the legacy you’ll continue to build.”
Today these 9 children should be graduating from MSD. Instead their families will be receiving a shadow box. We will eternally love and miss them. 💔
— Max Schachter (@maxschachter) June 8, 2021
“No graduation class gets to choose the world in which they graduate,” Biden said in the remarks seen Tuesday. “But every once in a while, every few generations, young people come along at a point in history with a chance to make real change. The world has already seen just how capable you are, how strong you are, how resilient you are.”
“There’s no question you’re already changing the world,” the president continued. “I’m so proud of each and every one of you. Because of you, I have never been more optimistic about our future than today.”
The alleged shooter is still waiting trial on 17 counts of first degree murder and faces the death penalty if convicted.