2018-06-11 / Opinion

Congrats to the Class of 2018

Born in 2000 and 2001, Lapeer and Sanilac County’s graduating high school seniors — the Class of 2018 — are part of the millennial generation.

This year’s graduates were born into both tumultuous and exciting times in our collective U.S. history. Just babies at the time, the world changed forever after terrorists attacked the United States using hijacked passenger aircraft to bring down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City as well as the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George W. Bush.

Apple Computer released the iPod, the X-Box came out, popular films at the cinema included Shrek, Monsters, Inc. Legally Blonde and Ocean’s Eleven, while on the small screen in our living rooms we were watching Friends, ER, The West Wing, CSI and Everybody Loves Raymond in record numbers.

On the pop radio stations, the “kids” then were listening to “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down, “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys and “If You’re Gone” by Matchbox Twenty. On the sports scene in 2001, after sinking his final shot to earn his team a sixth NBA championship, Michael Jordan walked off the court as a player and moved into the next phase of his amazing career. In golf, Tiger Woods win in the Masters meant he became the only golfer in history to hold all four major championships simultaneously (he won the other three majors in 2000). Barry Bonds set the highest number of home runs scored in a single season record at 73, surpassing the previous records of 66 by Sammy Sosa and 70 by Mark McGwire set in 1998.

While a stroll down memory lane conjures up memories of what was going on when today’s graduates were just coming into this world, it’s equally exciting to speculate what they will do with their lives going forward in a society dominated by technological breakthroughs.

Once only images seen on The Jetsons, the characters in the animated sitcom lived in a comical version of the future, with elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms and whimsical inventions. Well, today those far-off cartoon images are quickly becoming reality and the Class of 2018 will certainly play an active role in continued development of autonomous vehicles and thanks to cutting-edge companies like SpaceX it’s becoming more probable that people will soon be able to book a trip to the moon, Mars or an orbiting space resort.

Congratulations Class of 2018, you did it. We also salute teachers, counselors, principals, coaches and all other district staff who looked out for our kids.

Now is the time for celebration — for open houses, for graduation parties and our hope that the Class of 2018 will hold fond memories of their upbringing in Brown City, Marlette and Peck and will want to stick around or return to our great communities after college to raise a family, open a business or become a school teacher to inspire the next generation.

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