For the past few months, people have been following social distancing orders in order to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Since that means no large social gatherings can take place for the time being, people have gotten creative with celebrating huge milestones in their lives, like graduation. So many virtual ceremonies have already taken place this spring. YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020" commencement was one of the most highly-anticipated events due to its star-studded lineup. BTS' Dear Class of 2020 commencement speech was a huge highlight because it brought some much-needed inspiration during a time of uncertainty and pain.
The event was streamed live on YouTube on Sunday, June 7. Barack and Michelle Obama each delivered powerful commencement addresses, followed by remarks from former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Google CEO Sundar Pichai and education activist Malala Yousafzai shared a few words, as well as pop culture icons Lady Gaga and BTS.
BTS' message encapsulated exactly how this year's graduates are feeling. RM started the speech with a powerful statement about how the students might not have material things — like flowers and caps and gowns — this year, but they have something much more meaningful. "What we do have," he said. "Is possibly the most special graduation ceremony in history."
RM shared how special it is that graduates from all over the world are being celebrated together from the comfort of their homes. "Wherever you are," he said. "You will all soon be breaking out from one world, to soar into another."
Jungkook then spoke about his own personal experience from graduation until now, and how he's changed so much over the years and hopes the students watching will do the same.
When it came Jin's time to speak, he opened up about a fear many graduates have — the fear of becoming an adult. He explained that over the years, he's learned that it's not a race to keep up with those around him, but rather to grow at his own speed. "If any of you feel lost in the face of doubt or uncertainty, or the pressures of starting anew, don't rush," he said. "Take a deep breathe."
Suga's message was all about how a fresh start may seem so far off in the distance during this difficult time, but brighter days are surely ahead.
For Jimin, he expressed his concern for everyone's well-being before diving into his hope that through all of this, the graduates will learn to never give up.
J-Hope shared a story about learning to trust himself even though things don't always go as planned, while V encouraged viewers to think about how they'll remember this graduation ceremony when they look back at it in the future.
Each one of the boys had a strong message for the graduates, and together, the speech was absolutely moving. Watch the entire thing below.
The airing of BTS' Dear Class of 2020 speeches were filmed before the police killing of George Floyd, but they still made their feelings on police brutality and racism clear before their speech aired in a June 4 tweet, writing, "We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together. #BlackLivesMatter." They followed that message up with a $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter, which ARMYs swiftly matched in just 24 hours.
Altogether, BTS is talking the talk and walking the walk in their efforts to bring hope to, and create a better future for their fans all over the world.
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