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It is time to celebrate these seniors who have been through plenty

Tuesday, officials with the Vicksburg Warren School District announced plans for a personalized graduation experience for its hundreds of graduates completing their time at the three high schools within the district.

Over a matter of days in early to mid-May, members of the Class of 2020, along with up to four of their friends or family members, will don their caps and gowns and take part in a video and photography session that will later be compiled for an overall class video to be aired on the date of what was to be their graduation ceremony.

It is not ideal. It is not what they were hoping for. It is not what the teachers and administrators, who have watched these students grow and develop would have wanted.

But, it is the best that could be done in a time when all we can ask of anyone is to do the best that can be done.

For weeks, the district sought input from seniors and their parents. They batted around ideas of how to make a huge milestone in these seniors’ lives special at a time when putting on grand events and celebrations is just not possible.

In listening and reviewing their plans, it appears they have done just that.

The Class of 2020 was already a special group, not by what they have accomplished, but what they have endured long before the COVID-19 virus put a halt to their final year of school and activities.

For those attending Vicksburg and Warren Central High Schools, they were going to class at a time when their beloved high schools were undergoing huge renovation and construction projects. There were senior traditions like decorating parking spots that many missed out on.

For those seniors who played softball and baseball, they were not able to play any true home games, instead, those home tilts were played at Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi while their fields remained under construction.

And, after schools were closed and shelter-in-place orders put in place, this class missed out on their final prom and their last day at school.

This class has been historic in many ways and has remained resilient. In our conversations with many of them, the temporary difficulties placed on their final months of high school have done little to dampen their outlook on the future.

All of them have plans — whether those plans involve college, a career or the military. They have ideas on how they want to reshape their lives, their community and the world. That is what this time of life and time of year is about, the future.

There will be a graduation for our seniors this year — it will look and feel different — but it is a graduation nonetheless. It is the best we can do and that is all we can ask of ourselves, our District and of these graduates.

Do the very best you can, every day you can. Do the best for yourselves, your family, and as a community who will be relying on these future leaders one day, do the best for all of us.