Rachel Mellon Speech
Photo of Rachel from 1-20-96 Video
Rachel's Best Friend

           At BJ Ward's Eighth Grade Graduation Ceremony in 1997, when the names of  graduates were given, Rachel was not forgotten.  At the call for "Rachel Mellon", students stood and observed a moment of silence for missing student Rachel.  After all of the graduates received their certificates, Rachel's Best Friend gave this speech:

          Smart, funny, cheerful, and caring. Those words describe many people, but they make me think of one person in particular -- Rachel Mellon. For the past year and a half here in Bolingbrook, Rachel's name has been associated with one phrase: "missing girl". Well, this "missing girl" means a lot to our school and everyone in it.

          Rachel loved school and more importantly, her friends. She was my best friend and she always will be. She brought joy and happiness to everyone near her, and I know every graduate here will somehow remember her.

         Today is a day full of happiness, and it's the day each of us gets one step closer to being successful in life. And when we all graduate and receive our diplomas, I hope everyone takes along with them memories of our friend Rachel Mellon, a bright, caring, and energetic honor student who loved helping others. I know I will.

          Rachel mysteriously disappeared on a cold winter day in January, leaving many worried people behind. Since that fateful day, all we have left of her are our precious memories. Although some of us have more of these cherished moments than others, I believe they are equally important to all of us.

          I feel that Rachel is with us in some way today as we graduate, but she deserves more than that. She deserves to be standing here with all of us and graduating with this class, the class of 1997. I hope that by giving this speech, I am helping her be with us on this special occasion.

          I personally will have all the wonderful memories of my best friend Rachel Mellon, as will the rest of you here today. And I know these memories will never fade, because no matter how old I get or where I am, I will always hold a special place for her in my heart.

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