I suppose that anyone who graduated from high schools and universities this year did not receive the traditional kudos that they had expected to come their way. The COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.
The last time graduates in our nation faced anything so alarmingly different was in 1968. In just the two and a half months that led up to the first week in June of 1968, incumbent President Lyndon Johnson decided not to seek re-election as 42 year old Senator Robert F. Kennedy championed the spirit of the Vietnam War protest to gain momentum in the bid for the nomination of the Democrat party. He fell victim to an assassin’s bullet on this weekend 52 years ago.
Perhaps the unintended result of Kennedy’s assassination was the eventual election of Richard Nixon later that year.
About two months prior to that Reverend Martin Luther King was gunned down in Memphis initiating some of the most prolific and violent protests in American history. Nonetheless, students graduated.
While this year’s graduation ceremonies were altered by a virus this generation of graduates, just like the ones in 1968, found themselves consumed by nationwide protests involving violence, hatred, and racism. It makes one wonder about the degree to which progress has been made in those 52 years.
All Americans should challenge this class of graduates to see to it that they do a better job than did the Class of 1968 in promoting harmony and understanding….you know, like it was supposed to be in the Age of Aquarius. Let the sunshine in!
Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
The song was written for the musical “Hair” in 1967, actually recorded by the 5th Dimension in 1968, and released in 1969. Are our hopes and sentiments actually any different today?
In celebration of the spirit of “harmony and understanding” I give you sunshine today! And due to the unsettled nature of life today we’ll throw in a chance of a late day thunderstorm. Ir will not, however, reach 95 degrees like it did yesterday.