Capt. Picard: The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based. And if you can't find it within yourself to stand up and tell the truth about what happened, you don't deserve to wear that uniform!
Capt. Picard: You told the truth up to a point. But a lie of omission is still a lie.
Capt. Picard: Mister Locarno has been expelled.
Wesley Crusher: They should have expelled all of us.
Capt. Picard: They very nearly did. Mister Locarno made an impassioned plea for the rest of you. He said that he'd used his influence as squadron leader to convince you to attempt the Kolvoord maneuver and then to cover up the truth. He asked to take full responsibility.
Capt. Picard: Do you remember the first day you came aboard this ship? Your mother brought you on the bridge.
Wesley Crusher: Yes, sir.
Capt. Picard: You even sat in my chair. I was annoyed. Presumptuous child playing on my ship... But I never forgot how you already knew every control, every display... You behaved as though you belonged on the bridge. And then later, when I decided to make you an acting ensign, I was convinced you could be an outstanding officer. And I never questioned that conviction - until now.
Capt. Picard: I would never have graduated if you...
Boothby: You made a mistake. There isn't a man among us who hasn't been young enough to make one.
Capt. Picard: Nevertheless...
Boothby: You did what you had to do, you did what you thought was best. I just made sure that you listened to yourself. -... - You needed to get your bearings - I knew that. The important thing is... what you did with your life afterwards. Seems you did okay. That's thanks enough for me.
Capt. Picard: It's not gonna be easy... staying here on campus... everyone knowing what you did. You have difficult times ahead.
Wesley Crusher: Yes, sir. Thank you, Captain.
Capt. Picard: You knew what you had to do. I just made sure that you listened to yourself. Good bye, Cadet.
Wesley Crusher: Good bye, Captain.
Boothby: [on Nova Squadron] To the other cadets, the members of that team are gods; and that's a hard image to live up to. But Nick Locarno, he watches out for them. He keeps them together. Nick is what makes that team special. He's their coach, surrogate father and best friend, all in one - a natural leader. The members of that team love him. If he asks them to do something, they do it - even if it means going right over a cliff.
Wesley Crusher: We're Starfleet cadets. We have a duty to the truth.
Nicholas Locarno: What about your duty to your friends? I got you on this team. I gave you a chance, when there were upperclassmen waiting in line. I said, "He won't let us down. He was on the Enterprise. He knows what it's like to trust somebody with his life." Well, I guess I was wrong.
Wesley Crusher: If we all come forward together and tell Admiral Brand...
Nicholas Locarno: We don't wanna come forward! Sito, Jean and me, we don't have a problem with this. But if you do, then resign your appointment to the Academy and walk away. Don't make us pay for your guilty conscience.
Commander William T. Riker: When I was at the Academy, we had a Vulcan superintendent who had memorized the personnel files of every single cadet, knew everything about them. It was like having your parents around all the time.
Capt. Picard: My superintendent was a Betazoid, full telepath. When he sent for you to his office, he didn't have to ask what you'd done.
Wesley Crusher: We thought we could do it. We thought we could do anything. We were wrong. And Josh died.
Admiral Brand: It has been suggested that we should cancel the graduation ceremonies in the light of what's happened. Commander Albert and I have discussed this and we've agreed that commencement should go forward as planned. The cadets should know that even after a tragedy like this, there are still duties to perform. And life continues.
Wesley Crusher: Yesterday I testified that the crash occurred following a Yeager loop. That is not entirely true. We performed the loop, and, afterwards, broke formation and attempted a Kolvoord starburst. We knew it was prohibited and we knew it was dangerous, but we wanted to do something spectacular for the commencement demonstration. We pushed Josh into it and he wasn't ready. We thought we could do it. We thought we could do anything. We were wrong, and Josh died.
Boothby: [on seeing Picard for the first time since his Academy years] What happened to your hair?
Capt. Picard: You could use a good herbicide instead of pulling the weeds with your bare hands.
Boothby: M-hm... And you could explore space on a holodeck instead of a starship.
Wesley Crusher: You'd let me do that? You'd let me throw away my career, just to save your neck?
Nicholas Locarno: To save the team! That's more important than you. And it's more important than me. And if I were in your place, I'd do it, without hesitation. But that's me.