Summer is Upon Us

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With Memorial Day this past Monday we have officially started the summer. This summer commences like none other with COVID-19 hanging somewhat heavy over everything. I wanted to take a moment today to offer the Chamber’s perspective on two significant events, one singular and one a cluster of events, both with tremendous significance to the Chamber and myself.

Memorial Day on Monday gave us a moment to recognize the sacrifice that many in the armed forces have made on behalf of our country and ultimately on behalf of each and every one of us. As a Marine and as the father of an officer in the US Army, I recognize the commitment all in our military make to the country; that commitment resulting in the ultimate sacrifice from so many, throughout the history of our country. The Chamber is cognizant of the significance of Fort Bliss not only in its role as part of the nation’s military infrastructure, but as the home to thousands and thousands of women and men that are prepared to sacrifice themselves so that we might live in a democracy worthy of their service. The Chamber is grateful for the service of so many members and for those whom employ veterans and support Fort Bliss’ mission. We continue to plan an agenda with elements of connecting, coaching, advocating, and innovating aimed at supporting the post, its people, and veterans. We make this commitment knowing that it pales in comparison to the commitment made by our service members, but we do so with pride and sincerity.

The start of summer also signals the end of school in El Paso and for many, graduation from high school, community college, university, or medical school. This graduation season has been truncated by the stay at home orders and so many across our community and those El Pasoans in school across the state and the country have been limited in their ability to celebrate a major milestone. First of all, my staff and I offer our heartiest congratulations to graduating El Pasoans across the educational spectrum. We recognize that this accomplishment, regardless if from high school, university, or professional school, is significant and a shining example of the intellectual capacity and strength of our community. The Chamber has committed to support education in El Paso in a number of ways including tailoring our education agenda to advocate for education at the high school and secondary levels. We continue to support Junior Leadership El Paso and its efforts to build leadership capacity with high school students and this month our connecting and coaching agenda featured education in several events including hosting UTEP President Heather Wilson and EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera for Leadership El Paso.

This graduation season was certainly not what people expected and for our community of students, this was not the graduation they deserved. My staff and I proud of the many accomplishments embodied by graduating El Pasoans this month and are especially proud of the children of members that are earning high school diplomas and college degrees this May. We cannot change the trajectory of the world we live in, in this moment, but we can cheer enthusiastically as our students embark on a journey to change our collective trajectory in the near future.

On May 31st, the star will be lit in honor of graduating El Paso seniors in the class of 2020; for high school graduates, community college graduates, university graduates, and those earning their medical degree in El Paso. We know this is a small gesture, but we congratulate you and your families with pride and a recognition of the effort you and your families have put forth. Go change the world!

David