While BTS are billed as the closers of the nearly five-hour “Dear Class of 2020” broadcast on Sunday, earlier in the show, each member of the group gave a long and heartfelt speech to the graduates and to their fans.
The group seems to have carefully considered the perspectives they would bring. RM, the only member who gave his speech in English, started off by saying how far he feels he’s come since his middle school graduation a decade ago. JK, speaking next, said that conversely, he didn’t feel he’s changed as much.
Jin reached out directly to fans about feeling insecure after he’d graduated, and offered some advice to young people feeling the same way: “What held me together during those times was a promise I made to myself to take it slow. From then on, it became a habit of mine to take some time for myself.”
Suga spoke of feeling insecure and alone, that he’d fallen down during a race, stood up and realized he was all alone.
RM concluded, “I hope our stories reached you all today. Some say we have achieved so many things, but we are no different from others in their 20s.
“We may just be seeing each other through a camera, but I know your future will boom into something much bigger.”
The group then threw graduation caps into the air and shouted, “Congratulations, class of 2020!”
BTS joined Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Katy Perry, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and many others on the show. The Obamas also made an appearance which marked the couples first time appearing together on the same virtual stage for commencement speeches.
On Saturday, the group revealed that it has donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, following up on their earlier messages that they “stand together” with anti-racist causes.
Although BTS has been unable to perform at concerts since COVID-19 hit, the group headlined the “grad party” block along with Megan Thee Stallion and CNCO. The special also featured performances by Lady Gaga, Chloe X Halle, Lizzo and the New York Philharmonic and Finneas, along with many more.
“Dear Class of 2020” is just one of several virtual ceremonies that have taken place to honor the graduating class who are unable to have their own in-person commencement due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The over four-hour celebration was originally set to take place on Saturday, but the event was rescheduled a day later to respect the memorial service celebrating the life of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody last week.