Getting their diploma at last

Like the Depression-era and World War II students before them, students in the era of COVID-19 are finding their worlds turned upside down and the things they once took as a given, are not.

Some semblence of normalcy returns Friday, August 7, as the McNary High School Class of 2020 will be able to walk across a stage at Flesher Field and receive their diplomas, to the cheers of a limited number of family and friends.

Yes, this is not their parents graduation ceremony. But much of life today is nothing like what previous generations has experienced.

The Class of 2020 should not let COVID-19 diminish their accomplishments. They are the vanguard of students who faced adversity and came through with their diploma in hand.

Graduating students want to have their families and friends at the ceremony to share in the milestone of finishing high school. The fact that McNary’s graduates are limited to four tickets each should not put a damper on the day. Each graduate will be celebrated and honored by their loved ones in their own way.

Every member of the Class of 2020 from across the nation will take on an unexpected duty: helping younger siblings and peers navigate their education in a time of a pandemic. It is probable that the classes of 2021 and 2022 will face the challenges of limited extracurricular activities and athletics. They can turn to members of the Class of 2020 for advice and guidance. 

We are confident that students and spectators alike will do their part to assure that the seven McNary High School graduation ceremonies run smoothly. We are confident that Keizer understands that COVID-19 has changed everything and everyone will attend the graduation with respect and tolerance towards those who work to give the Class of 2020 the event they deserve.