I made a few changes and I'm not sure if I can edit the previous post. I still haven't solved the "it's too serious/boring" issue. And the two sections that are in parentheses are two different possibilities. I would use one or the other so please let me know which is better. Thanks!
It is a great honor to stand here representing the Class of 2010. But this is not my honor. This is our honor. No one, graduating today, got here alone, and this day is a celebration of our collective achievement. Think back to that time in math or science class when you didn't quite understand a concept, but your friends were there to help explain it to you. Or when you had a study group where you all helped each other memorize dates and names for a history final or a hundred words for a vocab midterm. We grew up together, we studied together, motivated and supported each other. We've been together since the beginning and together we will graduate and create a generation.
Almost a hundred years ago, those who fought in World War I were labeled "The Lost Generation". They went directly from high school into the war and they were never able to find their place in society when it was over. Those who came of age during the Great Depression and then fought in the Second World War were called "The Greatest Generation". As Tom Brokaw said, "The nation turned to its young to carry the heaviest burden, to fight in enemy territory and to keep the home front secure and productive." That Greatest Generation transformed the nation into superpower status. The generation that followed, "the Silent Generation", was small in number and grew up in the shadow of a cultural shift. They spent their lives struggling with conflicting morals and ideas, and were never quite able to make their mark on the world.
We, the Class of 2010, are a part of, what is currently called "Generation Y". Why, you ask? Because we have yet to prove our worth. Given that we are graduating today, that is to be expected, but that also means that our time has come. From the moment we turn our tassels, the rest of the world will be waiting to see who, and what we are. The older generations will be watching us, analyzing us, and trying to coin our generation's title. Will we be another soundless group, or will we make noise? Will we be great or will we be insignificant, not even worthy of a name?
The nation, and the world, could really use another "Greatest Generation". Our forbearers have left us with something of a mess. We are about to emerge in the midst of two wars, an economic crisis, and environmental issues every way you look - and by the way, both the state and nation are essentially bankrupt. Though we did not have a hand in creating these problems, the world is looking to us to solve them. It isn't fair, and it certainly won't be easy. But we have no choice. (We must lead the world into a brighter future. Although, not too bright, as hopefully we will find a way to stop global warming.) (All we have to do is fix the economy, put Americans back to work, clean up the Gulf, stop terrorism, end the wars, spread justice and democracy, and stop global warming. Oh, and while we're at it, we might as well cure cancer.)
A little daunting don't you think? But if there's one thing we learned here, it's just how much we can do, and who we are together. If we have any hope of making generational history, we must be able to work together. You may be struck with a brilliant idea one day down the line, or maybe you already have it fostering in your mind. But either way, don't keep it to yourself. Share it with friends or family or coworkers, or even with everyone you know. Because one of those people might have a way to make it better or make it happen. No matter how awesome the thought may be, you will never be able to bring an idea to life completely on your own. No one should walk alone. You could swim an ocean by yourself, but what happens if you start to tire?
Listen to your friends. Let them add to your dreams. A friend, a family member, a coworker, or even a complete stranger could be that one person who knows just how to fill in the gaps and give your dream wings. Only together can we become a splendid generation. For a generation is not the success of one individual. A generation is, by definition, a band of brothers.
We graduate today as a class. A class that worked hard together and will continue to be together as we move on with our lives. Some years ahead might be bleak and some may be glorious, but I have no doubt that we will use our knowledge, our tenacity, and each other to solve any and all problems the world throws at us.
Only a few generations have been granted the role of defending the future. The last time high school graduates were in a position such as ours, they rose to the task and defined themselves as "great". By why stop at great? We, the class of 2010, will be extraordinary.
I wish you all the best of luck in everything you do. Thank you, and congratulations.