Meanwhile, back in “67”

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"Is this country worth it? Oh, yes it is. Always has been. It is our job to preserve it for generations yet unborn. Why? The same reason the Founders did it for us. So forward Class of 1967. Our work is far from done right now. The time to rest, comes later."

The kid across the street just graduated. Big party before the 4th. As I was watching the proceedings, a thought came to mind. My graduation in 1967. What it was like. What the times were like. What my future was like. This post was ready to go. Then my laptop died,
I graduated on a somewhat soggy June evening in 1967. I was part of a huge class, and graduation was held outdoors at the school football stadium. Thinking about that, as I looked across the street at the young girl who just graduated, a thought came to mind. I thought of the day after my graduation. Yes, it was an interesting day to say the least.
I was old for my class (not really). I was 17 1/2 years old when I got my diploma. What changed for me once I received it? For starters, the day after my graduation, my part time job at Montgomery Wards in Robbinsdale, became a full time job. That was all I had in the sock for the summer of 1967. I had a very nice girlfriend (Leslie), and we spend a lot of time together after work. I had a 1960 Chevy Bel-Air six banger, and times were good until my Mother gave me the "talk".
"You know, now that you are done with school, you must either pay rent or move out. Now that you kids are raised, my life is with your father." My sister got the same talk two years prior, and was now getting married at the ripe old age of 19. "The only way you can stay living here rent free, is if you go to school." Message received. So my girlfriend and I both enrolled at a local Junior College. She was a cheerleader, and I was a Thespian. Lots of good times, lots of lousy grades.
I turned 18 that year, and then had to register for the draft. After my year at the Junior College, I decided to transfer to St. Cloud (sans girlfriend). I reconnected with, and partied with my high school friends as well as the new friends I met up there. But soon the party was over. I lost my "2S" student deferment and became "1A". I was then just a piece of prime cut waiting for the draft to grab me.
Why do I have all these thoughts of yesteryear when I see young people graduate today? I wonder what it is like in today's environment. If they are all about to get the boot out of their house like my sister and I did, or if they had to deal with the selective service like young men did. In any event, in 1967 the time to grow up was as soon as the diploma was handed out. Life gave you very few choices. Sitting by a pond writing poetry was not one of them.
The young men and women in the class of 1967 grew up fast, and grew up well. We graduated before the America hating period in the USA. We, as the offspring of the Greatest Generation, were for the most part, patriots. We were taught that way in school, we were taught that way at home.
After fifty years, the Class of 1967 is starting to die off now. They have lived their lives, made their marks, and hopefully, left a legacy. For those who are left, our mission remains. Leave a world which was as good as was given to us, or maybe better. Yes, better than we received from our parents.
Is this country worth it? Oh, yes it is. Always has been. There was a time to serve, and a time to learn. It is our job to preserve it for generations yet unborn. Why? The same reason the Founders did it for us. So forward Class of 1967. Our work is far from done right now. The time to rest, comes later.