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They walked in tandem,
each of the ninety-three students
filing into the already crowded auditorium.
With rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, 
they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles,
and moms freely brushed away tears.

This class would not pray during the commencements - 
not by choice but because of 
a recent court ruling prohibiting it.
The principal and several students were careful
to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling.

They gave inspirational and challenging speeches,
but no one mentioned divine guidance
and no one asked for blessings
on the graduates or their families.  

The speeches were nice,
but they were routine until the final speech
that received a standing ovation.
It was then that a solitary student walked proudly
to the microphone.
He stood still and silent for just a moment,
and then he delivered his speech -
a resounding sneeze.
The rest of the students rose immediately to their feet,
and in unison they said,


"God bless you,"

The audience exploded into applause.
The graduating class found a
unique way
to invoke God's blessing on their future -
with or without the court's approval.

~Author Unknown~

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