To the Editor:

One major problem with those things that seem to dominate the newspaper, radio, cable news and social media these days is that they are most always negative. The COVID pandemic, the rioters and looters who take advantage of troubling social issues to promote their agenda to change this country into a totalitarian, socialist nation and the higher education institutions that will not allow students to think for themselves but seem to desire to brainwash our young adults into their liberal, socialist way of thinking makes the news in general, negative and depressing.

So, when I went to my granddaughter’s graduation on Monday, July 13, I did not know what to expect. As a former educator, who began his career in 1969, I have seen some good changes and some not so good changes mostly driven by political correctness. However, I left the graduation feeling uplifted and encouraged by what I heard and saw. Each of the three student speakers showed their appreciation to their parents, teachers, coaches and administrators, who had helped them from kindergarten through senior year.

Yes, they recognized they had to work hard but they did not do it all by themselves. They did not dwell on the negatives along the way or use them as excuses but instead used them to motivate themselves to rise above or to “adapt and overcome!” After all, this Class of 2020 was born in the year of 9/11 and graduated, eventually, in the year of the coronavirus pandemic. They are the first class whose school year ended three months early, and no interruption of a school year has occurred like this since the beginning of WWII on Dec. 7, 1941.

Many of these seniors missed the final sports season of their school careers. They missed the camaraderie of being together for these last three months as the Class of 2020. I believe in years to come those graduating classes who follow them will look to their example of how to handle adversity. What an example!

I would like to say I was also impressed with the positive references to Almighty God and Our Savior, Jesus the Christ in each of the speeches and the respectful, reverent prayer by the class president. The parents, grandparents, families and friends can be proud too. While 85 graduates received their diplomas, you could hear a pin drop. There was no whooping or hollering as each graduate’s name was called. They sat there respectfully, some in masks, all in the heat and clapped politely at the end.

Well done, administration, school board, faculty, graduates and family. You made my day and my year.

Phil Sullivan

To the Editor:

I am a genealogist with ancestral ties to Monroe County. I was born in Nettleton. I subscribe to your paper. On May 1, 2019, there was an article written by John H. Ward entitled, “Labor of love restores forgotten slave cemetery.” I really enjoyed the article. I would like to thank Mr. Bobby Ling for the work he is doing. He is a special person to take on such a task. The ancestors are smiling down on him. I thank you and your teams for the great work you all are doing.

Evelyn Nabors

Chicago

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