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La Vernia graduation inspires hope

 

Dear Editor:

I am a visitor to your fine city from Nebraska and wrote the following on my Facebook blog, and would like to share it with your readers.

Straight outta “Friday Night Lights”... last night we had the honor of witnessing a high school graduation done right! Our nephew, Jake, graduated from La Vernia High School the way it should be done -- at night, under the lights of the high school football stadium, on a gorgeous South Central Texas night, 80ish degrees with a slight breeze. Nice!

The stadium bleachers filled quickly with generations of families, farmers, ranchers, and small business owners, all there to congratulate the graduates. For their part, the graduates did themselves proud! No obnoxious displays of goofiness or immaturity. No, here kids were respectful and mature (even if they were threatened beforehand).

The evening opened with a magnificent rendition of the national anthem played on the saxophone by one of the students. It was beautiful. She made it her own while staying true to the beauty of the song, and she did it very honorably. Not a single sound other than hers was heard from the crowd; you could have heard a pin drop in a stadium holding well over 1,000 people. Each one in attendance then recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and again, no foolishness or displays were noticed anywhere. Face the flag and say it proud! Then came the prayer! No kidding, a no-nonsense, student-led, Jesus’ name-invoked prayer ... right there in a high school football stadium! Woo hoo! Next came two very well-thought-out and -delivered speeches by the valedictorian and salutatorian, and the school district superintendent who again acknowledged the importance of faith, hard work, and vision. The procession of graduates went smoothly and was topped off by a beautiful benediction, thanking and asking God for His blessing, given by one of the honor students.

Wow! Just wow! I was so impressed! La Vernia, you done good! You did it right! Well done!

After the ceremony, as the families and crowd gathered to congratulate the graduates, the kids formed a large circle and finally ... let it go, throwing their caps in the air and letting out the well-deserved screams of pride they had richly deserved.

Quite a night here in southern Texas, and one I am richer for. For all the garbage you see and hear spread by the news media and social media, you’d think our country was in the toilet swirling down the drain. But I now have hope again, because I saw firsthand that there is a group of young people ready to take the next step, the mantle of leadership, and assume responsibility for the future. It was, in a word, awesome.

Thanks, La Vernia High School, La Vernia Independent School District, and a small rural town with great people in Central Texas for a great night we will not soon forget.

DONALD S. INGRAM

Sioux Falls, S.D.

 
 
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