Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Reflections on a Major Milestone: Graduating From High School

                                                Good Day World!

It's been fifty years this month since I graduated from Azusa High School, in Azusa, California.

I remember feeling free as a bird. I already considered myself an adult and that little ceremony ending with a diploma confirmed it.

Teenage boys faced a daunting choice upon graduation in 1968. The draft was on and the chance of ending up in that dirty little war in Vietnam was all too real.

Many teenage boys went to Canada seeking asylum, or they went to college immediately out of high school to get a draft deferment. If they could afford to. Most inner city youth, especially minorities, ended up in combat positions in Vietnam.

The country was torn apart between conservative patriotism and liberal outrage against the illegal war in southeast Asia.

Today, I look at these young men and women graduating from high school in a divided country, much like it was in 1968.

I think about the students at Parkland and how they organized after their school was terrorized by a crazed shooter.

In the best tradition of the 1960s, students across the country organized to change gun laws. They've taken on the lobbying arm of the NRA, and the congressman taking bribes from them.

Once again, the youth in this nation have taken up the moral banner for the betterment of our society. Their voices are strong and strident on internet social platforms and in public.

Leading the resistance against Trump's corruption and absolute disregard for the rule of law, are these brash youths who cannot tolerate the "good old boy system" in congress.

The whole country is also fighting a culture war launched by our racist president who has given the green-light to the alt-right.

Like it or not, graduating from high school is a major milestone in everyone's life, in one way or another. 

What we choose to do in those heady days of newfound independence can set the course for the rest of our lives.

My oldest grandson will be graduating from high school in two weeks. I see him as picking up the torch from my generation and breaking new ground. His peers nationwide are engaging in political activism, like signing up to vote for the midterms.

They hold the future in their hands, much like I did fifty years ago.

Time for me to walk on down the road... 

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