Some may never again see classmates they have known since kindergarten. Many will be going off to college, a job or the military and realizing, among other things, that mom won't be around to do the washing.
Even though mom or dad might not be around, we encourage the new grads to feel free to solicit their parents' advice in making important decisions.
We commend all of our Tri-Cities-area graduates and wish them well. We also commend their teachers, coaches, parents, grandparents and others who have helped them get to this point in their lives.
Our message to graduates:
*Succeed, prosper and, above all, never forget your hometown roots.
*The next chapter in your life is just about to begin and it is an exciting time.
*Never stop learning because it is a lifelong process. Be willing to speak out — but listen, too. Be willing to admit a mistake.
*You are, or will soon be, able to vote. Exercise that right.
*Many of you will be in the workforce for a long time. It’s important to do something you really enjoy, or whatever your hours might be. Find your passion.
*Remember to volunteer in your community, to give back, to help others like a mentor or coach or friend helped you.
*There will be setbacks — but as athletics and other experiences have taught you, be resilient.
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — still recovering from the 2011 shooting in Arizona that nearly took her life — gave a short, inspiring speech to the graduates of Bard College in New York that emotionally passed the baton to them.
“The nation’s counting on you to create, to lead, to innovate,” she said with difficulty following a longer speech by her husband, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. “Be bold, be courageous, do your best!”
We echo that advice and hope many of you will stay or one day return to the Tri-Cities to live, work and play. Our community is counting on you.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.