Graduation Speech: In Memory of Those Who Did Not Make It

Graduation Speech: In Memory of Those Who Did Not Make It

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Good evening and welcome parents, family, community members, friends, the School Board, faculty, and seniors to the County High School Class of 2012 commencement ceremony. It is a great honor to be able to welcome you here today. Class of 2012, you have worked hard for 12 years; tonight we celebrate your achievements - this night is yours. Congratulations!

I have heard that some faculty members have coined the term "survivors" with reference to our graduating class. Indeed, we are survivors and I cannot think of a better term to describe us. Throughout the past year, our class has been subjected to several devastating tragedies. The deaths of three of our family members at County High: Joy M., Serik P., and George F. These three members of our family at County High School were each amazing and loving individuals. Their spirit of love lives on and was clearly exhibited by the manner in which the students and faculty pulled together to comfort each other and mourn their deaths. Their families will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

As you graduate tonight, I would ask you to remember their love and strive to make it an integral part of your lives. The great Mahatma Gandhi called the love that I believe these three held in their hearts "all embracing ... [a love that] transforms all it touches ... [with] no limit to its power." And, most definitely, their love transformed people's lives. They certainly have inspired me.

A wise man simply known to us as Paul wrote of this love as the "most excellent way." Paul wrote, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

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Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." And so graduates, never forget their love, celebrate their love tonight as you graduate, pour their love into your hearts. Thank you.
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