Anna wanted to be here and had a very important family
matter that she had to take care of. And if she comes a
little bit later, we will hear her speech.
She's been talking to me about wanting to speak to the
class. Anna has told me that she is especially proud of
this April IAY class because you are the first class at
our school to graduate after what happened on September
And I believe that all of us--not only Anna--as your hosts
in America, would like to apologize for that terrible, terrible
disruption in your experience. And we hope that all of the positive
things, all the positive things and all your experience that
has been shown so clearly in the yearbook, in the yearbook
that the experts put together, I hope that that will outweigh
what was, I think, for many of you a very scary, very difficult,
very uncomfortable time.
We salute your bravery, we salute your bravery for staying.
And I believe that that is something that makes your class
The April IAY class is made up of a number of very unique
and different individuals. This is a group. It is a community.
But there is a diversity of interests. Some people have gotten
to know America. Some people have really traveled. You can talk about people who recently went as far as Mexico--
and came back for graduation. You can talk about people who
went to see Michael Jordan play basketball in Washington, D.C.
You can talk about some of the first people to get on airplanes
after September 11th and go to Disneyland--Disneyworld, excuse me--
in Florida. You can talk about people who got on airplanes just
several weeks after September 11th.
This is a class of individuals more than anything, individuals.
Each one has done what you came to do. And that's why every
individual in this class has something to be proud of. And we
are proud to have been associated with you for eight months,
to watch you grow and develop and express your individuality.
We're proud of you. We thank you for coming here. And I hope
that all of you enjoy and cherish this graduation ceremony.
You set a great example with your spirit, your verve and
your love of life!