But all of this success came at the end of a long climb.
Lance Armstrong, the famous cyclist and more importantly, cancer survivor, has said 'if you ever get a second chance for something, you've got to go all the way.'
These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor - and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror.
Repaying the debt of these ultimate sacrifices seems nearly impossible but we must try.
Delaware State began as a school bent on service - teaching education, social services and nursing.
Delaware State is no longer a college for African Americans without other choices, it is a university of choice.
I believe it is important for the university to always remember its roots.
Just the example Delaware State University graduates set by the way they live their lives, should be an inspiration to other high school students to go to Delaware State.
Through the years you, the Delaware State family and your predecessors, have faced many challenges. You worked through them with fierce determination and good will, and you have made great progress.
Working together we can strengthen Delaware State University and the students who attend it.
We have to instill in them the skills they need to succeed at a young age and open up their imaginations to the very real opportunities they can be afforded if they put their minds to it.
By climbing a steeper road, the value and appreciation Delaware State students took and continue to take from their education and their experiences is just as great, if not greater, than students attending ivy league schools.
When Delaware State University was founded in 1890, it was not by choice, but by social reality.
The teachers were focused on helping these students. The students benefited from hands-on teaching and a faculty who cared about them and their success in life and soon the students began to believe in themselves and the reality that they could make something of their lives.
We have long honored those who gave their lives during the unfortunate reality of war.
Typically, historical black colleges and universities like Delaware State, attracted students who were raised in an environment where going to college wasn't the next natural step after high school.
During the days of segregation, there was not a place of higher learning for African Americans. They were simply not welcome in many of the traditional schools. And from this backward policy grew the network of historical black colleges and universities.
I remember coming to this college in the 1960s as a new legislator when a road divided the campus - and it was not fully paved at that - and no wall defined the campus from the highway.
Maya Angelou, the famous African American poet, historian, and civil rights activist who is hailed be many as one of the great voices of contemporary literature, believes a struggle only makes a person stronger.
These ivy league students are in the upper echelon of the college boards and had great opportunity in front of them regardless of where they go to college. Its in their very nature and it is something they expect.
They were often the first students in their family to go to college and the very idea of higher education was still foreign to them. They had to make a conscious and often difficult decision to come to college.
This is a value-added college education if I have heard one described. And what is the most remarkable about Delaware State University graduates - is they just keeping giving back.
Upon arriving, meeting their teachers and signing up for classes, these students began to realize that their attendance at Delaware State University was not a goal achieved, but rather a dream being sewn - a first step, if you will.
And the university's reputation will only continue to grow as stories like Elaine's are spread. Delaware State University's motto 'a past to honor, a future to insure,' couldn't be any more fitting for this transitional period you are going through.
Ensuring a bright future for all our children is the responsibility of the community, the schools, families and like it or not- politicians as well.
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