Dear Class of 2020,
I can’t imagine what you’re going through or have been through the past nine weeks.
It was humbling to sit through MOCO’s graduation practice on Monday. Hearing your enthusiasm, even if it was just car horns honking, was inspirational. I know 11 years ago I would not have handled this situation with the grace that you have.
It’s evident that our community is heartbroken, yet behind you as you celebrate this major milestone. I watched from behind my camera as your valedictorian and salutatorians were announced just days before what would be your last day of high school. As your valedictorian said, I think we all would have done things a little different had we known those would have been your last few days at MCHS.
Lately, I’ve watched from behind my computer as you received your surprise senior signs, as you picked up your caps and gowns. I read about how touched your parents were when the MCHS staff dropped off the signs; their words moved this journalist.
Then I watched as your parents and family cheered you on and held up signs as you drove into the graduation practice. I hope you can see how proud they are of you. From behind my camera, I listened with you as your val and sals gave their speeches during the graduation practice, as you honked as your names were read
together one final time as the MCHS Class of 2020 and as you sang the alma mater from your car windows.
I held back tears as I watched you walk down the main hallway for your final time and then as you walked across the stage in your own personal graduation ceremony in front of the iconic columns. I know this is not the way you would have wanted to spend your senior year, the one where they quarantined, but I also know you won’t soon forget it.
My hope for you is that despite the circumstances you soak these moments up. I hope you have learned from this unprecedented time of quarantine, I know I have. I hope it has taught you to never take anything for granted. I hope it’s taught you to tell the people around you that you love them, and when it comes time that you hug them a little tighter.
I hope it’s taught you to cherish the opportunities that you’ve been given, especially when it comes to your education. I hope it’s taught you that you are not invincible. I hope you understand that you are needed, just like the essential workers that have worked day-in-and-day out to provide the things we need.
I hope it has taught you that this too shall pass and the best is yet to come.
Don’t forget where you come from; use it as a foundation to build off of. Chase your dreams; you’ll do great things. And just as the four cars of your closest friends and family cheered you on during your own personal graduation, they’ll be here for the next major milestone and the milestone after that and the one after that.
As always, thank you for letting this hometown editor tell your stories over the years. It’s been a pleasure to watch and be a small part of your life. Go Dogs!
Love Always, A humbled newspaper associate editor