www.herald-journal.com
Our future is bright
June 13, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

I recently attended a high school graduation ceremony in which the valedictorians each gave a short address to their fellow senior classmates.

There were multiple valedictorians; each had obtained a 4.0 grade point average throughout their high school career. This is quite an accomplishment, and six of the graduates had achieved this status.

Who says, “Kids these days?” We have some bright, talented, “kids these days” who are our future.

Each of the speeches by these bright young adults was articulated very well. The message of each speech was similar, but each graduate said it in his or her own way. Some with humor, some with prose, some with quotes, but all with feeling, emotion, and heart.

Among us, we were all honored to have a former graduate lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. This young adult served in Iraq and had sustained a serious injury.

I felt honored and proud that these young people would be the leaders of tomorrow; each with their own gifts to share with the world, each with something unique and different to give our world. We had, among us, a young adult who already had given back; had sacrificed so much for us, his fellow Americans.

The last of the valedictorians ended her speech in song, blessing her fellow graduates with an old Irish blessing, “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

The gym was silent as she beautifully sang this blessing with such poise. It was one of the most touching graduation speeches I have ever heard. The words in song produced such meaning and heart.

This blessing is truly what we wish for those who we have shared memories with, but will be parting, “And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

This is what I wish for all of those graduates, high school or college, in our local communities and beyond, “that the sun shine warm upon your face . . .” One does not have to be a valedictorian of a class to be successful and to impact our communities and to give back positively in some way.

If those graduates were an indication of the values and talents of our youth, I think America has a bright future ahead.