There’s an old song called “Graduation Day.” It was sung by the Four Freshmen in 1956. The Beach Boys did a cover version of it in 1964.
“There’s a time for joy, a time for tears. A time we’ll treasure through the years. We’ll remember always Graduation Day.”
I remember it well, having grown up in the 60’s era of those really great meaningful songs. I graduated from high school in 1968, and have fond memories of that senior year.
We thought we were all going to make a difference in the world. We were going to really show the world what we could do. We were invincible.
Many of us went on to college. Some to trade schools. Some joined the military. There were weddings and babies. Established couples grew apart and went separate ways. Established friendships faded and were replaced with new people.
That was life. But there was one thing that stayed in our minds and our hearts and that was the feeling of a well knit and established community. Of people who cared about us.
It was a time of peace and happiness, even while the Viet Nam war raged on.
Some of us moved away and some of us stayed near our hometown. But we always had memories of each other, growing up and becoming adults. Those high school memories were and still are precious to us, and we continue to get together for high school reunions which is a great time for us all to catch up and discuss our lives then and now.
But today is sadly different.
Just last night there was a mass shooting after a high school graduation in Richmond, VA, just a few hours from where we live. Seven people shot and two so far have died. Many others were injured and at least one person is still fighting for their life.
Talk about remembering your graduation day….and not in the way any of the graduates had planned.
For those graduates, there will be no happy memories. Only fear and sadness. Lives just beginning were cut down. And suddenly graduation meant entering a world of hate and violence; where one moment your entire future is ahead of you, and in an instant, friends you’ve known for years are fighting for their lives. The happy pictures that were being taken of graduates and their families when the shooting began became photos of a scene of horror.
What is happening in our country these days is beyond my comprehension. I do not understand any of this. It is a sickness that has infested far too many events in our lives, to the point that none of us feel totally safe at any event, be it graduation, a birthday party, a wedding, a concert, or a church service.
And the list continues to grow every day.
What is it going to take to end the gun violence in our country? How many more lives will be lost before we say enough is enough!?
It’s time to take a stand and make our voices louder than the sounds of bullets flying through the air.
Please, for our future generations’ sakes, so they will have a future, let’s do something before it’s too late.