There are those who might question the value of a Nevada high school diploma. But we know better.
Tonight nearly 350 Douglas High School seniors are scheduled to receive their diplomas, following in the footsteps of Carson Valley students back more than a century.
Some of them will volunteer for the armed services, to help defend the nation that nurtured them.
Many will continue their schooling, either staying here to attend college or university, or heading for schools out of state.
If they are successful, they may return here to bring their newfound skills and knowledge to benefit their hometown.
Others will take what they've learned in Carson Valley on to color their experiences in other places.
A few will remain behind, working, living, providing for their families, participating in their community.
We remind them that a diploma is but a piece of paper. It's the grit, determination and honor of the person who receives the paper that counts in this world.
We Nevadans don't give a damn what people from other states think of us. Let our graduates make that their mantra. Let them show the world their mettle by their deeds, whether in combat, school or life.
To all of our graduates, we say congratulations and bon voyage.