"There are places we remember all our lives ...
All of these places have their moments with lovers and friends --
We still can recall, some are dead and some are living,
In our lives we've loved them all."
Tonight we, the Class of 2000, are celebrating the end of an old journey, and the beginning of a new journey. We dedicate this evening to those whom we have lost along the way. We have not forgotten our classmates and friends, Kevin Hansen, Krisjana Hartje, Maggie Reynolds and Danny Wheeler. Our class has endured these painful losses, but it has brought us closer together and melted us into a family of compassionate friends.
We've learned to treasure the gift of friendship, for they were there to lend a shoulder to cry on, and they would want us to do the same for a troubled friend. We thank them for the gift of perseverance, for they've taught us to be more open-minded about others, and to trust in God in times of uncertainty. They have proven that each day is a precious gift, and we should live it to the best of our abilities, for that, after all, is the purpose of life. We remember them for their kindness and laughter, for they brought joy to our souls. We are grateful to have shared a part of their lives, for they have proven that time is precious and unpredictable, and we need to use it wisely.
Tonight is the last time we will all be together as the Class of 2000. But it's also an opportunity to create lasting memories, and that's something no one can ever take away from us. So as we celebrate our graduation, let's also celebrate the lives of Kevin, Krisjana, Maggie and Danny, and realize how lucky we are to have known them as classmates and as friends.
Some people come into our lives and quickly depart. Others stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same. Even though Kevin, Krisjana, Maggie and Danny are not here wearing a royal blue cap and gown, they are walking along with us into the next chapter of our lives. As we move on, we know that we are stronger because of Kevin, Krisjana, Maggie and Danny. We miss them, we will remember them, and we will always love them, but most of all we thank them for touching our lives. As a remembrance of our dear lost ones, we would like their families to receive one of the floral arrangements we've placed here as a token of our fond memories, immediately following the graduation ceremonies.
(Zauhar is a 2000 Brainerd High School graduate.)
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