By about 10:15 Tuesday, 308
The bright lights may have made the trip across the stage a blur for some of those who earned diplomas, but they couldn't wash out the bigger picture. One long life was journey ending as another commenced, all at the same time.
"It's amazing, it's relieving and just exciting," said a quavering
East Wake's graduation ceremony went off without a hitch and in a timely fashion despite the unique conglomerate of four small schools hearing speeches from a quartet of valedictorians.
Honoring a fallen Warrior:
Bell got the full attention and reverence from the crowd when she recognized
"Without him, I wouldn't have made it," she said.
Bell went on to urge her classmates to go out in the world and find their passion.
"Don't worry about failure," she said. " ... You owe it to yourself to accomplish everything you had hoped for."
Advice for the future: Keynote speeches were made by valedictorians
Williams, who led the
"It's time for us to begin the next phase of life and learn what the real world is all about," Williams said.
He encouraged fellow graduates to take time to do things that make them happy and to measure life by happiness, rather than wealth.
Wilson, the animated
He left his classmates with several guidelines to follow going forward, including, "Get this money," and "Once graduated, stay graduated -- don't come back to football games every so often." He also advised his classmates to thank those who have supported them and continue to support them, and to "surround yourself with loved ones and those who make you happy."
A world of opportunities:
Miller spoke of perseverance, being there as a helping hand for others and living life to the fullest. She closed by reminding the soon-to-be grads their futures are what they make them.
"I urge you to go further," Miller said. " ... Reach for what you want to do and not what others expect you to do. Don't waste your time living someone else's life -- make yours count for something."
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