Emily Karyl Ames was the salutatorian of the Ridgway Area High School Class of 2012 and spoke about the memories made through the past years of school during the RHS graduation ceremonies held Sunday afternoon at Memorial Field.
Ames referenced a speech from "Grey's Anatomy" during her opening statements.
"Today's the day our lives begin," Ames said. "Today we become citizens of the world. Today we become grownups. Today, we become accountable to someone other than ourselves and our parents. Accountable for more than our grades. Today, we become accountable to the world. To the future. To all the possibilities that life has to offer. Starting today, our job is to show up wide-eyed and willing and ready. For what, I don't know. For anything. For everything. To take on life. To take on love. To take on the responsibility and possibility. Today, my friends, our lives begin. And, I for one can't wait."
Ames then expressed appreciation to many groups of people for their help.
"We've achieved what seemed unachievable," Ames said. "Thank you to all who have accomplished this tremendous goal. Thank you teachers for looking out for us, accepting our lame excuses and helping us achieve greatness. Thank you parents for sticking by us and encouraging us to work harder. Thank you coaches for pushing us to our limits and never giving up hope. Thank you to my friends and fellow classmates for the best 12 years of my life."
Ames referenced memories such as the third-grade play, "How Does Your Garden Grow?" as she remembered the students and what parts they played. She also referenced times spent in the hallways at school in halloween costumes.
"These past four years have been unforgettable," Ames said. "We've made it so far and achieved so much. This is our greatest accomplishment so far. We've made friends we will remember forever. We matured and developed into adults and we've given our all for the past 12 years. This is the day we've been preparing for, waiting for. This moment, this very anticipated moment is most likely the last time we will all be together. I don't think there's a better moment than this to share with each other for the very last time. Class of 2012, no matter what happens or where we go, just remember, we'll always be hanging around like tattoos on this town."
"Tattoos on this Town" was a reference to the class song at graduation for this year's class.