At Boise State’s spring commencement today, the university president asked for a moment of silence. We waited, almost 10,000 of us, packed to the rafters. The band played a slow rendition of “America the Beautiful,” and as it ended, a man yelled. The shout — muffled by bodies and distance — sounded something like a cap gun, a far-off explosion, small but distinct. He let loose a second time and then a third. He was calling a name. Michelle.
Another voice joined his from the opposite end of the pavilion, and then — a sudden swelling — the building was filled with a chorus of calls for Michelle and her classmates.
I’m still haunted by the moment, filled as it was with longing. Thousands — trapped in their seats — reached out with their voices, a compelling cacophony.
Had we been closer, we never would have been so bold.
Thousands — trapped in their seats — reached out with their voices