“We learned to crawl, stand, wobble and finally accomplish the task of taking our first step,” he said. “Before long, we were walking from our toy box, to our bed, to the sandbox, and everywhere in between.”
Most of the students, having grown up together, Bollinger said, shared memories of grade school and middle school. He noted how quickly the years flew past them.
“Freshman year, sophomore year, junior year — everything was going by so quickly,” he said. “Until finally it was our last year of high school. Senior year.”
It all lead to Saturday’s event, he said, the culmination most amazing, memorable year of all the years. But Bollinger said he soon realized all the years the class had spent together had been worth remembering.
“Everyone in this room has shared some sort of memory or fun experience with one another,” he said. “So instead of making this speech entirely my writing, I wanted to share some of the class of 2013’s favorite memories.”
Laughter quickly erupted from the front rows of the crowd where the seniors sat listening to the recollections. Some were teary-eyed, remembering the moments described, others reminiscing themselves.
“We take all of these memories, carrying them into the future, and adding new ones,” Bollinger said. “Soon we will be preparing for the next steps of our lives. ... We’ll all take what we’ve learned from our past and prepare for our future.”
“But really, reading a speech from a script is the exact opposite of life,” he said. “Life is nothing like a script. Life is crazy and chaotic more often than it is exactly what we planned.”
Although students would be going their separate ways after graduation, the memories shared among them would keep them together, he said.
“No matter what, we will forever remember the experiences, friends and memories we have shared with those around us,” he said. “No matter what, we will always be the West Franklin graduating Class of 2013.”