GRAFTON – For Grafton High School Salutatorian Anthony Lam, he didn’t understand the phrase “life is short” until recently.
“I’m realizing now that we’re not as invincible as we thought we once were – that we were quickly growing up and leaving our childhood behind,” said Lam during graduation.
Lam was one of the 226 seniors who walked across the stage of the Hanover Theatre on June 1 to receive their diplomas.
He noted that the seniors have grown up together and are now growing apart together.
“I’m bittersweet that the very faces that I’ve seen for the past 12 years of my life will no longer be part of my every day, but in exchange, we’re all going on our different walks of life, chasing after aspirations and becoming the very people we truly dreamt of becoming,” Lam said.
He urged his fellow graduated to take a break and reflect on their surroundings.
“As you move onward, I want you to continue to enjoy life, remember to stop for a second and truly savor the present,” Lam said.
The ceremony featured speeches by Principal Kevin Carney and Noelle Fedor and several musical performances, including Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” by Eilidh Deans; Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” by Isabelle Geoffroy and Amanda Murdock and Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes” by Sylvia Cahill, Julia Chaisson, Deans, Meroska Gouhar, Sean McGlynn, Murdock, Maggie Mussler and Zander Shaw.
Following a series of thank yous, Valedictorian Kathryn Branda turned to address everything the senior class had accomplished.
“This speech was honestly not easy for me to write,” Branda said.
She said the speech reminded her of a college essay and also because there was too much say. As a class, she said the seniors have found ways to influence their communities, whether it was establishing a club, leading a team, creating art or mentoring another student.
She also mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted three out of their four years at Grafton High School.
“Although our high school experience may have been atypical, I believe that our class made the best of the opportunities that we did have, especially in our final year when with no restrictions,” Branda said. “Class of 2023, it has been a privilege to learn and grow up alongside all of you. I am so proud of all that we have done as a class, and I cannot wait to see what we do in the future.”
The ceremony can be viewed here.