From Weston Cole Frey (Class of 2024 Valedictorian)



First and foremost, I would like to give thanks. I would like to give thanks to God for endowing us with our unalienable rights and for allowing us to be in a country that has these freedoms written into the foundation of our government. I would like to give thanks to all the teachers, coaches, administrators, and friends that have helped get us to this point. I would like to give thanks, from all of us students, to our parents in the audience and beyond. If we could please give them a round of applause.

I would like to begin with a quote from General George Washington’s General orders to his troops, given on July 2nd,1776, two days before we declared independence from the British Empire. “The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.” The words in this statement rang true then, now, and for the rest of history. Tonight I read this quote to you not as the general of the colonial army or of any army for that matter. Tonight I read you this quote as a fellow soldier in the great American army, not one with tanks and bombs, but an army made up of the hearts and minds of everyone in this great nation, an army made up of We the people. 

The enemy we face today doesn’t wear a crown or a red coat but it is more cruel and unrelenting. The enemy we face today is complacency. As a class, as a state, as a nation, and as a world, we have grown complacent. We believe we have achieved great technological advancement, social awareness, and relative safety, and we have achieved these great things. But we cannot rest on our laurels because there are no limits to the advances we can make, and our freedom and safety is never guaranteed. 

We have advanced our technology greatly over the past 200 years and as a result we have improved the lives and life expectancy of billions of people. But our pursuit of greatness has slowed. I mean we haven’t put a man on the moon in 52 years, despite the fact that the cell phone in your pocket has more computing power than the guidance system in the Apollo 11 spacecraft. If we grow complacent all we will ever have is the amenities we have today but if we use our minds, a class 400 minds strong, a state 31 million minds strong, a nation 341 million minds strong, a world 8 billion minds strong, to build on our forefathers advancements we can create a world in which energy is created, stored, and distributed in a way we have never seen before, allowing our advancements to be accessed not just in major cities and first world nations, but throughout civilization. 

As a society we have splintered, constantly battling over morality, safety, freedom, and their complex relationship with one another. Many actions we take to improve one, inhibit the others, but why as a nation should we settle for a system that inhibits any of our values, especially three of our most important values. As a people we must fight to find solutions which improve all of these vital facets to American life, and not grow complacent allowing one ideal to triumph at the expense of another. 

I will leave you with one last thought tonight. We the people, and only we the people, can make America and the world great again. So, go forth and fight off complacency so we can create a more developed and free world, for all.

Thanks, Gig’em, and Congrats Class of 2024


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