I can remember my freshman year of high school; I was sitting with the band thinking about the day that it would be me up there. I couldn’t wait for it; and whether our teachers, our parents or we were prepared for it, it is finally here. We’ve made it! I would like to say congratulations to the Class of 2013.

Former Vice President Al Gore once said, "My bet is that 30 years from now, you won’t have any idea what was said here, but you will remember the parties tonight. You will remember your families being here. You will remember all the hard work that got you to this point, and you’ll remember how you felt. And I hope you feel great because this is a remarkable achievement that we are honoring here tonight" (Commencement speech by Al Gore from Johns Hopkins in 2005). I want to encourage you to not shed tears of sadness. For tonight is a joyous occasion, worthy only for tears of happiness. Although this is a bittersweet occasion, I like to think of how blessed I am to have had the experience I’ve had at LHS which makes saying goodbye so hard.

I was once told things are only precious because they end. We only value them because they become no more. That is what tonight is all about. This is the end of thirteen years of life in the making. Tonight we must value it. Tonight is the night we must not forget. Tonight is the night that changes everything.

Although high school is ending for us and tonight will soon be over; something else is starting - a tomorrow. Tomorrow we start our lives outside of high school. We will begin our new dreams. It will be the start of all we want to become, and I am so glad it’s finally happening. This speech - as practically all graduation speeches do - contains all the expected words of praise and well wishing that I and countless others wish upon you. I have not said anything that hasn’t been said to us in the past, or that will not be said to us in the future. Except for this: We, Lonoke High School’s Class of 2013, do not cease to be here. This is not the end. Our past has brought us to this point, and our future is bright with blessings that have only just begun. I encourage you to remember your past as you greet the future with a hello, and refrain from a goodbye. So, this is not goodbye; this is simply until we meet again. I wish you the best of luck Class of 2013. Until we meet again.