Columbus Dispatch: Forge Good from Chardon Tragedy, Kasich Urges Graduates

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m really, really glad we have a Governor like this. Really glad.

john-kasich-portraitGov. John Kasich told the graduating class of 2013 at Chardon High School that their community “is stronger today because of what you have been through.”

“You carry a little piece of all of this, the high and the lows, the joys and the sorrows, and set yourself free,” Kasich said in his commencement address to 273 seniors who suffered an unspeakable tragedy last year when three of their classmates were gunned down at school. Today’s graduation was held at the Mentor Fine Arts Center.

“Find those gifts, use them, join with others, and heal the world,” Kasich said.

On Feb. 27, 2012, classmates Daniel Parmertor, Russell King Jr. and Demetrius Hewlin died in a shooting in the Chardon High cafeteria. The three were remembered throughout today’s ceremony, and three vases, each containing a rose, were placed on the same stage where their classmates walked to accept diplomas.

“Today is bittersweet because if we ignored what we saw and what we experienced and what will inevitably shape us …” Kasich said before mentioning the three vases.

Kasich then recalled a brief conversation he had earlier today with Nick Walczak, a graduating senior who was paralyzed in the shooting.

“I never knew that I could be so strong, governor,” Kasich said Walczak told him.

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