On Thursday evening I was blessed to be in attendance as my daughter graduated from high school. I listened as the class president told of her experiences in high school . Then the salutatorian and valedictorian gave their speeches.
Of course like most parents, I suspect, I was a little distracted during these speeches. I was searching out my own child in the group. Then I was sitting there thinking back over the years.
The first time I held her. The first time she spoke a word that I could understand, the day I taught her to ride her bike without the training wheels.
I remembered all of the honor roll assemblies I had been to. I never missed a single one. I thought of all of the times that she had struggled with some new math formula, but never gave up.
I thought of all of the days, over all of the years, that had brought her and my wife and myself to this milestone moment. And like all parents, I choked up on the pride I felt as I heard her name called and watched as she walked across that small stage at the end of the football field.
Now graduating from high school is a huge moment for both parents and child. And even so, it is only the beginning . My daughter will now go on to college with the intention of becoming a teacher. I hope to be there four years from now, again watching as she passes another milestone moment.
I have promised not to use her name in my alternative life here in the blogosphere, so I will only say that I am the proud father of a hard-working , independent thinking, intelligent young woman. And I could not be prouder of the person she has become.
I know that there are thousands of young people out there just like my daughter, and they are just as hard-working and independent as she is. They are our future and our hope. But we must leave them a world that is better than we found it. We must not allow this nation to fall so far , that even with all of their hard work and independence of spirit, that they will not be able to succeed in their endeavors. We must set the example of hard work , and we must show the independent spirit that built this great nation. We must teach them that to stand on your own is the American way. That the Founders of this nation intended for every person to have the same opportunities, but that this was no guarantee of success. That success comes only through hard work and determination.
So it is my hope and my prayer, that all of the students of the Class of 2010 and especially my daughter, will put forth the effort and to show the determination, to not only succeed, but to inspire others to succeed.