Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Reflections, in words and photos, upon graduation June 10, 2010

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A soon-to-be graduate walks down the hallway of Westbrook Walnut Grove High School one last time.

ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, family, friends and faculty gather in hot, stuffy gymnasiums or auditoriums to celebrate high school and college graduations.

The honored students perch on hard folding chairs, fidgeting, sweating in their caps and gowns, some crying, others smiling, most simply wishing the ceremony over.

Speakers speak of friendships and memories, of lessons learned and lessons yet to be learned, of the past and of the future.

Mothers wipe away tears. Cameras flash. Applause rings out and choirs sing.

And then the graduates march, down the aisle, tassels swaying, smiles wide, into the waiting arms of those who love them enough to let them go.

My niece, Carlyn, left, and a classmate prior to graduation from Westbrook Walnut Grove High School.

Graduation gowns await graduates at WWG High School.

The guys hang out one last time before graduation ceremonies at WWG High School.

Family, friends and faculty gather in the WWG gym for graduation ceremonies.

A family member videotapes the WWG High School graduation ceremony Sunday afternoon in Westbrook.

WWG students await their diplomas.

A long line of family and friends forms to greet WWG graduates with flowers and hugs.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling