Enfield grads cherish bonds that never break

·2 min read

Jun. 23—ENFIELD — More than 300 members of Enfield High School's Class of 2022 celebrated their achievements and reflected on their challenges at their commencement ceremony Wednesday night.

ENFIELD CLASS OF 2022

VALEDICTORIAN: Sam Chen.

SALUTATORIAN: Karalyn Edwards.

CLASS PRESIDENT: Hery Chavez.

During his speech, Class President Hery Chavez channeled a poem introduced to him in high school, Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay," reflecting on both fond and difficult memories of high school.

"It's easy to lose sight of the little things, especially when they are not desired endings, but we must appreciate the gold," Chavez said.

Chavez said there is peace in knowing that some things can't be controlled, and though the future is always uncertain, one thing that members of the Class of 2022 can be sure of is the kind of person they want to be.

Salutatorian Karalyn Edwards recalled an Asian belief that people are born with invisible red threads around their finger, pulling them to those they are destined to meet.

"They can get tangled and stretched, but they can never break," Edwards said.

Edwards said the pandemic has been a difficult time that tangled the threads for many, but as lockdowns and restrictions lifted, she was able to reconnect with those she is bound to.

"Class of 2022, thank you for being my red threads, and being a part of my life," Edwards said.

Valedictorian Sam Chen mentioned the psychological theory of the id, one of three components of the personality, along with the ego and superego.

Superego represents high-level, moral thinking, and id represents instinct and desire, with ego mediating the two.

"This id almost acts like your default setting," Chen said, reflecting the idea that the id is the true, base self.

Chen said graduates should push past the id, and break the constraints of who they think they might be.

"We are just young adults, we don't know who we are ... sometimes you shouldn't really be yourself," Chen said.

Lt. Col. Richard Fairley, a retired Air Force member, said before the ceremony that this year's annual Escort of Colors flag ceremony was the first since he began to be led by two graduates entering the Air Force, Ryan Turner and Mason White.

Fairley said the tradition began nine years ago, with two graduates headed into the military carrying country and state flags to the podium.

"They're launching careers, they're leaving high school, and doing this is showing total respect for our country," Fairley said.

At least four other members of the Class of 2022 will be entering the armed forces.

Joseph covers East Hartford and South Windsor. He joined the JI in July 2021. Joseph graduated from the University of Connecticut and he is an avid guitarist and coffee enthusiast.