Academy's cordial offer

We're wishing the New London High School Class of 2010 exquisite graduation-day weather on June 18, one of those 10 best days of the year that weathermen sometimes boast about.

Why shouldn't the approximately 170 seniors at the city's public high school graduate in style, on the pristine Cadet Memorial Field at the Coast Guard Academy overlooking the Thames River? It's a picture-perfect graduation site and the students have earned it - and will get it as long as the weather cooperates.

Otherwise, graduation will be indoors at the high school's Scanlon Auditorium, where the seating is not only tattered, but limited.

It was the students' idea to have the graduation outdoors so that more friends and family could attend their milestone event. But because the high school has just embarked on an extensive renovation of its outdoor athletic facilities, Principal Tommy Thompson told them he'd have to find an alternate site to make it happen.

He did.

Last week Mr. Thompson announced that he asked and the Coast Guard Academy offered its facilities free of charge. Graduation will be there as long as the skies are clear. A few naysayers are complaining that the offer is a ploy by the academy to sweeten its bid to buy a portion of the city's Riverside Park.

Hogwash.

Sometimes a nice gesture is just that, an act of kindness. For 100 years now, the Coast Guard has been a good neighbor in New London, and the city and its residents should be proud that the academy is located here.

There's no ulterior motive in the academy's offering its football field with ample seating and viewing for the high school graduation. For years it has been opening its gates for occasional public events.

We think it's a terrific solution to a temporary problem and applaud Principal Thompson's willingness to accommodate his students, and the academy's generosity in helping him.

Congratulations graduates.

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