By Fr. Frank Pavone
Several years ago, I came across a story of a graduating class which dedicated its yearbook to all the students who would have been graduating that year had they not been killed -- by abortion. How fitting a tribute that is. Other graduating classes have paid tribute to their abortion victims by a moment of prayer at the Baccalaureate mass or at the graduation ceremony.
And why not? Suppose that a tragedy took the lives of some of the graduating class just days or weeks before graduation. Would there not be a mention or a tribute at the ceremony? Why, then, should the victims who died longer ago be forgotten? It is not, after all, the timing of the death that matters, but the value of the life.
Some, of course, will object to inserting such a "negative" theme into a happy day.
Yes, life is tough, isn't it?...It's all mixed up with happiness and sadness, joy and tragedy. Are significant moments in our lives supposed to be insulated from all awareness of injustice? Are we to rejoice with those who rejoice, but not weep with those who weep?
To be willing to face sadness when the victims were born, but unwilling to do so when the victims died before birth, is another sign of the deep-rooted prejudice against the unborn in our society. But a new generation of young people who have survived that prejudice are now taking their places and preparing to be the future leaders. That gives us hope. Isn't that what Graduation Day is all about?