For those of us who do not have sons or daughters graduating this week, it's easy to take for granted how momentous this step is for the hundreds of students and their families taking part.
Many of those graduates are off to college or to the military, never to return again as full-time residents. Others will take their place alongside us in the work force, building their communities and raising families.
To all of them, we offer our congratulations and sincere wishes for good luck as they head out into the world.
We hesitate to admit this, but they may be in need of a good deal of luck. And by that we refer to far more than just the tight job market and the rising cost of living. Those things will pass like all recessions have passed before. We wish we were sending them off into an economy with loads of high-paying jobs, but the age-old virtues of hard work and perseverance still count for a lot.
The overriding problem is that the jury is still out on whether we, the generations ahead of these graduates, are fulfilling our responsibility of leaving this country in better shape than it was when we inherited it. Our apologies if that fear proves to be true, but we welcome you as educated adults to work alongside us to put to rest any suggestions that our country's greatness is waning.
If that seems like a tall order, remember that all we're really asking is for you to be good citizens. Never stop learning, find a greater purpose in life than personal gain, and be a participant in democracy.
And, if you're moving away, come back and visit often. This will always be your hometown.
• This editorial represents the view of the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board