Salutatory Address

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Good afternoon guests, family members, fellow graduates, and friends. The last few years have just flown by, leaving behind loving memories of high school. But I never expected to finally be at my own graduation. It always seemed so far away. During the last few years of high school, we have changed. We've become smarter, more sociable, and more aware of what the future holds for us. However, now we stand at a great precipice in our lives, and I think we all need to consider how we got where we are. I have been encouraged, trusted, and unconditionally loved by my family and friends. God has given me grace, forgiveness, and guidance. I had a few teachers along the way who not only prepared me for college, they prepared me for life.

So now as we end one chapter in our lives, I think it's important to realize that we're starting another one. There's a reason why they call this commencement. It's a beginning, not an end. After today, we will all go our separate ways. Some of us will stay in touch, others we may never see again. But regardless of where we go, we will all have our memories of the past, and more importantly, our goals for the future. Our future is what counts and matters. In five years, no one will ask what our ACT scores were, or what our high school GPA was, but they'll know what kind of people we are inside.

Let us not live this life for ourselves, but live it for God, and through that make an impact on our world. And so, instead of a final farewell to the class of 2002, I'd like to give the first wish of good luck.
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