On the evening of July 26, 2020, Reading saw one of the prettiest sunsets in recent memory. A little bit of light in the dark, perhaps? Well, it just so happened that Reading Memorial High School’s graduation was also scheduled for the evening of July 26, 2020. Families gathered on the RMHS football field, situated in socially distanced pods to celebrate the personal achievement, academic accomplishments, and spirit of the Class of 2020.
In a time marked by pain and sickness, loss and grief, injustice, and tension, the Class of 2020 struggled to keep its head above the water. So many traditions that the class missed out on, so much hard work. Many students were genuinely concerned that Reading might end up with virtual graduation, so when the news broke that the Class of 2020 would get an in-person ceremony, people were over the moon.
The lead-up to graduation has been a tumultuous path. With a global pandemic, national concerns over serious injustices, and the upcoming presidential election, the world has been a bit overwhelming lately. Many students have put an emphasis on self-care during this time, and rightfully so. This graduation ceremony was something that was earned by our Class of 2020 graduates. Our town should be very proud.
To feel the breeze gently blowing through my gown, to see the sun setting on my high school years, to embarrass the living heck out of my friends as they walked past where I sat by whooping and hollering, to see some of the people that made this town my home for the past seven or eight years all in one place one last time. That is what graduation is supposed to be, and that is what the Class of 2020 got, despite all odds. As Maura Drummey alluded to her in her speech, to be a Reading Rocket is to overcome gravity…to fly.