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Charles Dickens in "A Tale of Two Cities" said, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Although Dickens wrote this line more than 149 years ago, it still could be written about today.

This week our local high schools will be sending out into the world a group of young people who have seen more technological changes in their young lifetimes than their parents' and their grandparents' lifetimes.

They have lived in a world where their country is truly the superpower of the world. They have lived in a world where prejudice is the last thing on people's minds - not the first.

They go forth into a society that is ever changing and that will forever need changing.

We see a group of young people who have learned to volunteer. In fact, we encourage even more of this noble deed called volunteerism.

We see a group of young people who are not afraid to venture from home to try new things and to experiment with life itself.

Economically are these the best of times? Of course they're not, but we have no doubt that this group of young people will hit the ground running and will lead us into new frontiers of growth and stability.

We are proud of our new graduates. We wish each of them well. We encourage each of you to come back home after you have learned the ways of this ever-changing world - both economic and social - and show us the way. Be prepared to show us that courage, honesty and dependability are still the main tenants of a great society.

Our future is not going to be any better than you help make it.