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Step into a new day

Even in the midst of a grinding recession, there’s something about the graduation season that inspires optimism. It’s hard to maintain a negative attitude when seeing the faces of hundreds of young people celebrating the achievement of a dream and looking forward to new goals and new challenges.

The speeches at area high schools will be packed with references to change, to new days on the horizon, to boldly striking out on new paths. There will be sentimental nods to friendships and memories built through years of shared experiences, but mostly there will be a sense of eagerness and anticipation for the world that lies on the other side of that diploma.

Recession or none, that is the way it should be, especially at a high school graduation. Weddings — where two people who have spent their lives as individuals vow to unite as one — are arguably the only more momentous occasion that most of us will ever experience. The transition from the insular world of high school to the great big world outside those hallowed halls marks the first major step into adulthood for most folks. Nothing is ever the same after that walk across the stage, whether the immediate future holds college, military service or employment.

To the area’s graduating seniors, we say congratulations and good luck. Set your own course, pay heed to your conscience, remember your old friends in Suffolk and go out and improve your little part of the world. Things may look bleak in that world today, but a new day will, in fact, dawn tomorrow, and the energy and vitality you bring to it can truly make a difference.