My fellow students, today was destined to be both a day of celebration as well as a day of great thought. Following recent events, it seems only right that our formal graduation is put on hold whilst we recover from the shock of California’s recent devastating earthquake. Many of us experienced losses first hand and many more of us know of people who did and as such, we must maturely address what is most important: our graduation or the formal memorial of these losses we have suffered.
Earthquakes and other natural disasters are an unfortunate but necessary price to pay for living on this marvelous planet of ours but this does not make the experience any easier on any of us. However, it is important at this time that we recognize how strongly we have responded – echoing the achievements we have successfully made during our time in high school. It is this resilience and determination that we must exhibit now at this difficult time, when our loved ones and neighborhood need us the most. As the leaders of the future, it is important that we recognize how important it is to stand tall in the face of adversity and, especially now, it is imperative that we support one another to move forwards and continue on to success at college and beyond.
Before leaving you with your thoughts, I would like to direct you to the words of Anne Bradstreet in his poem, Upon the Burning of Our House where she says:
“A Prise so vast as is unknown,
Yet, by his Gift, is made thine own.
Ther's wealth enough, I need no more;
Farewell my Pelf, farewell my Store.
The world no longer let me Love,
My hope and Treasure lyes Above.”
Our strength and treasures lay in our hearts and our minds and whilst we have suffered losses now, we move forward as high school graduates – tenacious in our desires and robust in our will.