With graduation right around the corner, The Tower created a list of all the events that have occurred over the course of your existence. Some of these events may seem nostalgic, and others quite sad, but they are all part of your lives and experiences.
The year is 1993, and most of you are born. You come into the world bright-eyed and smiling or crying- mostly crying. A few major events occur that you will not remember, but have most likely heard of. OJ Simpson was accused of murder and put on trial in 1994. Tupac, one of the greatest rap artists, was shot and killed in 1994. (…Or was he?) The blockbuster hit Titanic, starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio, was released in theaters. All the while, you were learning to walk and talk.
Now, on to the golden days of elementary school. In 1998, you start kindergarten. You start to make friends and learn how to read and write. You enter a new millenium in 2000. 2001 is a very eventful year in many ways. The biggest terrorist attack to ever happen on American soil, 9/11, takes the lives of thousands of innocent people. You also did not understand why this was such a big deal to your parents. Also in 2001, the first Harry Potter movie is released in theaters, and Apple releases its new mp3 player called the iPod. You hoped to get one for Christmas!
Ahh, the lovely middle school days. Filled with awkward school dances, first kisses, and new social media. You can probably remember getting a MySpace and deciding who you wanted your top friends to be in 2003. Quickly followed by needing to get a Facebook and constantly updating your relationship status in 2004. The Super Bowl wardrobe mishap between Janet Jackson and JT happens this year as well. Then came the days of being able to watch music videos on YouTube for hours at a time in 2005. You probably remember seeing news channels flooded with images of the devastation of hurricane Katrina as well. 2006 brought the next major social media platform, Twitter, where it was normal to tell followers your every move. Also, the U.S. was able to apprehend and execute one of the world’s worst terrorists, Saddam Hussein. The cell phone would change forever in 2007 when Apple released the first version of the iPhone. The first Kindle e-reader was also released, forever altering how we view books.
Some of your fonder memories occurred in high school. You get your driver’s license, your first car, and go on your first date with your crush. The Twilight book series took shelves by storm in 2008. History was made in 2008 when Barack Obama became the first African-American President. After years of waiting, Toy Story 3 came out in 2010, and you saw it in theaters because you wanted to feel like a kid again. In 2011, the series that we all grew up reading and watching in theaters, Harry Potter, releases the last film from its installment.
It is the summer after graduation, and you are ending a long chapter of your life, but excited to start college. 2012 was a year plagued by sadness, starting with the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Then another gunman took the lives of 26 people at the Sandy Hook school shooting. In 2015, we saw the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
So here you are in 2016, with your whole life ahead of you. You’ve seen the country through its ups and downs. You’ve seen things that lots of people would’ve deemed impossible, and technological advances far past anything we could have ever imagined. Who knows what will happen next? Maybe you will be a part of the next generation’s biggest advances! Best of luck to all the seniors graduating! Graceland will miss each and every one of your faces.
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