Gallery: Class of 2024 – Memorial High School’s 64th Commencement

Memorial High School Class of 2024

Photo gallery by Stacy Harrison

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MANCHESTER, NH – The following includes excerpts from some of the speeches delivered during Memorial High Schools’ commencement on June 15.

Memorial Class President Mack Tripp:

Over these past four years of school we have had to overcome some unique obstacles. We entered our freshman year on computers due to COVID, by the end of that year and into sophomore year, we awkwardly met each other and our teachers in person. Then, junior year, we finally were able to call each other friends. And finally, senior year, we call each other best friends and got to experience our last year events like prom, class day, and today’s graduation. Like a family!

Take a minute to look around at the people next to you.

Take a minute to truly appreciate how short these four years have been and recall all the incredible achievements that have come out of our time as a class.

Today, as we celebrate this achievement, I want all of us to remember that this is just the beginning of our journey into adulthood.
Even though we have gone through 12-plus years of school and grown and learned so much, there is still more we need to do,
so much more for us to achieve, and so much more to give back to the people in our lives that have helped us get to sitting here today, our Parents, families, and friends.

Valedictorian Merrit Lessieur:

For our generation, diversity is the cornerstone of what we are and what we could be. Sexuality, careers, ideas, inclusivity – everything. There is not one person that I know that I can confidently say is the same as somebody else – close, maybe, but not exact, and I’m sure others can agree with me on that fact. But, with diversity comes the most poignant of diseases released from Pandora’s Box – judgment. With diversity, changes from what we deem to be the norm, judgment flourishes. And a large part of fitting in for us, in trying to make friends, has required a willingness to judge. Judgment of events around us, judgment of our peers, judgment of everything. We all do it. It’s something that’s as ingrained in our thoughts, actions, and behaviors as using our phones. 

But why? 

Our judgment of those around us, even if everyone else does it, even if it is deemed socially acceptable, ironically alienates us from those we could foster connections with; it pushes anyone and everyone away, even those you’re trying to impress. Here’s the thing: something I’ve learned over the years is that if you are chasing acceptance in a group, striving to simply ‘fit in’ – you are hanging with the wrong crowd. Why should you need to make yourself more acceptable to those around you? I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason; but it is important to note that you cannot force something out of nothing. 

Memorial junior Gray McDonald, who assisted with graduation, gets a sneak preview of her future. Photo/Stacy Harrison

Torle Adumene is all smiles.