BRONXVILLE, N.Y. The sun began to set as the Bronxville High School Orchestra played the Pomp and Circumstance tune. Hundreds of friends and family donned their best dresses and jackets, gathering on the school's front lawn to celebrate the 90th annual Bronxville High School graduation.
On Saturday, June 16, the 123 graduates sat in front of the backdrop of the school's maroon brick male and female, equally elegant. The girls wore soft, white, angelic dresses, holding small bouquets of red flowers, while the boys sported white dinner coats with red roses tucked in their breast pockets.
"I, along with most of my fellow graduates, would call Bronxville High School our base," said student speaker Patrick Tine. "It is and always will be our scholastic foundation. It all happened here. It is where we learned to be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat. It will forever be the home of our kindred triumphs and fears."
Class president Melissa Imperiale said that the class of 2012 has been shaped by events that took place at their school. While they visited Washington, D.C. and enjoyed class picnics, they also witnessed the tragedy of Sept. 11 and watched as America elected its first African American president.
"All of these events, as monumental and as historical as they were, will leave a lasting imprint," Melissa said. "We have truly developed as individuals. Each member of the class of 2012 has nurtured their own special talent, whether it be on the sports field, the auditorium stage, the classroom, or in all other places where people have demonstrated their abilities. This individuality and diversity of character is why we will remember unique relationships that we have all built throughout the past 13 years."
A slight breeze cooled the air while the sun faded behind the school. Applause boomed from the audience after speeches. Scattered cheers from close friends were heard as students were given their high school diplomas.
"It's an emotional night for all of us here," said parent speaker Patrick M. Flannery. "It marks an ending and a new beginning. Try to understand the depth of emotion that stirs in our hearts for you at this moment."
Empathy is the outstanding quality of this graduating class, Flannery said, and empathy is what great societies are made of. He applauded the character, friendships and service expressed by the graduating Bronxville students.
"If you are wondering what the future holds and whether you will have the gumption to pursue your aspirations through each your chosen destination," Flannery said, "look no further than into each of the beautiful faces of your classmates who sit with you this evening. All the energy, all the enthusiasm, all the encouragement that you will need to draw upon in a lifetime surrounds you at this very moment."
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