Graduation Day

The month of May is graduation time all across America. And yesterday I made the commencement address at TCU, my old school.

For me, being asked to speak was an honor. And, considering my grades, I'm sure it was an unexpected development for all of those professors who taught me.

Everyone has a favorite holiday -- Thanksgiving, July 4th, the religious observances, of course, Christmas, Rosh Hashanah. And each of those holidays reminds us of a magnificent achievement or a great moral truth.

But for me, the best holiday is Graduation Day. It is not about something else. It is about the people in the room and the families who have come to celebrate their achievement.

Each family member sees graduation in a different way: The proud grandparents who never doubted, not for a minute, not for a day, that the graduates had what it took to get that diploma. The surprised brothers and sisters who were not so sure about all that. And of course the parents who paid for it.

I told the graduates yesterday they would not remember what I said. No one ever remembers graduation speeches, but I told them they would always remember Graduation Day. And that's as it should be. Because graduation is not about speeches, it's about what the graduates have done.

So I told them to remember instead why it was they felt so good yesterday.

It was not because they had a piece of paper that declared them to be college graduates, but because they had set out to do something and they did it, which is the best feeling in life.

So, in this graduation season, I want to take a minute here to wish the very best to all of you who are graduating, and to the parents you have made so proud. What you've done is a big deal. Don't let anybody tell you it isn't.

E-mail your questions and comments to Face the Nation

By Bob Schieffer


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