BROWARD (CBSMiami) – In a shock video handle, President Joe Biden praised Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ graduating class, who have been freshman in the course of the bloodbath that took 17 lives, for turning ache to goal.

“This class misplaced a bit of its soul. Examined in methods no younger particular person ought to ever must face,” he stated.

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The president then identified they not solely went by means of the deadliest highschool taking pictures in U.S. historical past, however additionally they needed to cope with the disruption of COVID.

“From a freshman 12 months, a 12 months of unspeakable loss to a junior and senior 12 months upended by a pandemic,” the president stated. “The story of this class, the Parkland neighborhood, isn’t only a story of ache. It’s a narrative of resilience, turning ache to goal, darkness into gentle.”

WEB EXTRA: President Biden’s Message For MSD’s Graduating Class Of 2021


A whole lot of Marjory Stoneman Douglas college students collected their diplomas on the BB&T Middle, however the absence of 9 of their classmates may very well be felt all through the world.

Alyssa Alhadeff, Martin Duque, Jamie Guttenberg, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Alex Schachter, Alaina Petty and Peter Wang have been freshmen on the time of the mindless Parkland bloodbath in 2018.

All of them would have, ought to have, graduated Tuesday.

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As a substitute, family members took the stage on their behalf, receiving shadow packing containers and an honorary diploma.

Broward College Board Member Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed on that horrific February day, addressed the graduates.

“I’d be hard-pressed to discover a group of seniors extra resilient than the group of faces me proper now. Not solely did you endure a trauma that arrived on Valentine’s Day of your freshman 12 months, but in addition the challenges of worldwide pandemic the wrong way up,” she stated.

That motto of resilience was on full show as the scholars themselves took the stage to mark this milestone, acknowledging their challenges whereas celebrating their successes.

“Our graduating class has been by means of an immense variety of hardships in our quick highschool expertise. We’ve not even had a full 12 months of college nonetheless, we now have made it, we now have pushed ahead and we needs to be proud and appreciative that we’re graduating in the present day,” stated Jason Snytte, MSD’s scholar authorities president.

“Class of 2021, I sincerely hope that on this subsequent season of life, you are taking the unhealthy playing cards that you’ve got been dealt and switch them right into a royal flush. I do know that whereas instances is probably not what we as soon as anticipated, we now have the ability to show them round,” stated Lauren Avellanet, the senior class president.

It was a who’s who of celebrities and sports activities stars, together with Jennifer Hudson, Jimmy Kimmel, Demi Lovato, Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade, who despatched their well-wishes to this very particular class.

It was all capped off with that message from President Biden.

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“No graduating class will get to decide on the world during which they graduate. However each from time to time, each few generations, younger individuals come alongside at a degree in historical past, with the possibility to make actual change. The world has already seen simply how succesful you might be. How robust you might be. How resilient you might be. There no query. You’re already altering the world,” he stated.

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