Friday, May 24, 2024
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North Shore Class of 2023 Graduates

Tis the season of graduations and celebra­tions. Grad parties will soon start (if they have not yet) sprouting up around our area just like, finally, our Spring flora. I was once told that grad parties aren’t for the grad. They’re for the parents of the grad. There is probably a bit of truth to that and, if so, there has to be some truth to commencement cere­monies being for the community to cheer on their seniors who are entering the next stage or their life.

Both Silver Bay and Two Harbors celebrat­ed their graduating seniors Graduation Day on Friday. Silver Bay’s festivities included a Graduation Day Parade that went from the school parking lot to the Shopping Center. Two Harbors prefaced their ceremony with a social hour. (There were tacos!) Grand Mara­is’s Commencement occurred the next day. The pictures taken at their Graduation Day Parade show happy graduates hanging out their car windows, smiling and waving at their #1 fans.

I was able to attend the Two Harbors High School Class of 2023 Commencement Pro­gram in person. It was certainly the place to be on Friday. As I walked down Highway 2, passing a line of parked vehicles on the way, then into the crowded parking lot of the school, it was easy to see that the families, friends, and community showed up for their graduates in droves.

I noticed an elephant charm hanging from someone (with a good parking space)’s rear­view mirror and thought about how they say elephants never forget. This event is one these seniors will always remember. It is a day that they have anticipated their whole lives and they worked so hard to get here.

I was early, but I felt very late. The joint was already packed, and everyone was find­ing their places in the gymnasium long be­fore the ceremony began. I took a moment to check out the poster boards the parents had put together for their kiddos. It’s hard not to say, or at least think, awwwww, as you watch these graduates grow up in smiley snapshots of days gone by. I wonder how many of the parents got a bit weepy putting those togeth­er.

When the Two Harbors band started to play Pomp and Circumstance, everyone hushed. Then out came the graduates, mostly two by two, processioning to their seats. One excit­ed mom leapt up and followed her graduate down the aisle a bit to get a good picture. She was all smiles.

Caps and gowns clad, some students were also proudly sporting stoles that indicat­ed special honors. Six students achieved academic great distinction. Nine students achieved academic highest distinction. This was a very smart group of graduates.

The Star-Spangled Banner was sung by the senior members of the school’s choir and, later, the senior members of the school band played The Great Locomotive Chase by Rob­ert W. Smith. Penny Juenemann delivered the Commencement Address followed by a per­formance of I Lived by One Republic, which featured choir seniors.

I Lived is apt for the occasion. The lyrics speak to being brave, experiencing life, living every moment to the fullest, and being able to say, “I did it all.” I hope the 84 young adults with diplomas in their hands can one day they tell all their grandchildren they “owned every second that this world could give.”

Congrats to the Class of 2023 and to all those who supported them along the way!

(Feel Free to contact me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com with any news we should news about!)

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