There were diplomas, there were the strains of Pomp and Circumstance, and then there was me, all at the Stewartville 6th grade D.A.R.E. graduation on Thursday afternoon.

CSJ/TSM-Rochester

First, a big shout-out to Deputy Mark Chambers of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office for asking me to be a guest speaker for their graduation ceremony and celebration.

I was honored to attend, of course, because I'm a big backer of law enforcement and of any program that is designed to help bridge the gap between the public and those men and women who go out everyday to protect us. (Which the D.A.R.E. program, which stands for 'Drug Abuse Resistance Education,' happens to be.)

And, seeing as my dad served as a D.A.R.E. officer for several years when he worked as a police officer back in my hometown in Wisconsin, being asked to speak at the 6th grade D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony was a special honor for me.

Thanks, too, to Sheriff Torgerson, the rest of the deputies involved in the Stewartville D.A.R.E. program and the Stewartville 6th grade staff for having me on Thursday.

And special shout-out to the 6th graders, who allowed me to waste a few minutes of their time -- and who also indulged me in the requisite selfie, and group Woo-hoo, too.

Congratulations on completing the D.A.R.E. program!