Though their senior year wasn’t what they had envisioned, Hamburg High School’s class of 2021 graduated Friday night surrounded by stands of family and friends.

Gratitude toward God, parents, and teachers was a common theme among those seniors representing their classmates, as was the difficulty of facing a senior year during a pandemic.

Lexie Freeman began her speech, entitled “Our Opportunity,” with a reading from Psalm 121. She reminisced about days when she believed 2021 would never come and noted that it arrived much faster then she imagined. 

She also reminded her peers that while graduation is a major milestone that they should be proud of, it is not the end goal but part of a larger journey. This change will bring hardships to be faced, she said, but will also create many opportunities. She encouraged the class to tackle any dreams and goals they may have while forever cherishing all the moments and memories they made together.

“Be strong and of good courage (Deuteronomy 3:16),” she said.

Caitlyn Breedlove also looked to the future during her invocation, praying that fellow graduates would embark on future endeavors with faith, hope, and love.  

Annah Edwards, too, looked toward the future in her speech “Perseverance Has Prepared Us.”

“We graduated high school during the pandemic,” she said. “It was not easy.”

She thanked everyone involved in providing a safe experience for the class’s senior year and emotionally included thanks to her mother for inspiring her every day to be the independent young woman she is.

She encouraged classmates facing an unknown future that this year gave them abilities to face whatever comes their way.