Unification News for June 2005

Graduates Shine In Alabama!

Saturday, May 21, was a historical day in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. Eleven 2nd Generation students graduated from the local public high schools, many with honors in academics, sports and arts.

This particular graduating class, for the most part, was the largest to have started together and graduated from Top Garden School before attending high school. They have been lifelong friends.

What was exceptional, however, was the fact that this year several students brought not only local, but national level recognition to the school and the community. There were two National Merit Scholars recognized from our 2nd generation: Alexander Crompton, who graduated third in his International Baccalaureate class at Murphy High School, and Patrick Yamane, who was Valedictorian at Alma Bryant High School. In Patrick's case, he was the first student in the history of the school to have ever received such a distinction.

When True Parents first came to Bayou La Batre, almost 30 years ago, they had a vision for the local community, as well as for the marine and fishing industry. However, when our members first started to arrive, they were met with skepticism and fear. Even shotguns were pointed at our heads! The main fear was they were worried that their children would be taken away and brainwashed.

Now, the fruit of True Parents' teaching is visible and being recognized by the entire community; substantially in our outstanding 2nd generation. They have earned the respect of their friends, teachers, coaches and local dignitaries. On that foundation, when Patrick Yamane gave his Valedictory Speech before 3,000 local people, and clearly recognized and thanked Rev. Moon, it was especially sweet.

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