June 6, 1964, forty eight years ago. Wow! I graduated from Bishop Alemany High School in San Fernando, California. For me it was a sunny Saturday starting off with a baccalaureate mass, then off to the campus up in the foothills between the Eden Park Cemetery and the Catholic Holy Cross Hospital for graduation. Garnet caps and gowns because our colors were garnet and grey. It was a good year. 1964. I had just turned seventeen. The beginning of the beginning for me.
But, historians remember this as D-Day, 1944, Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword. The five sections of the Normandy coast. Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, Dwight David Eisenhower. Ground force command to General Bernard Montgomery. An operation of land, sea and air elements. The beginning of the end for Nazi Germany and the Axis Alliance. The day we took a huge chance and went after a terrible horrible enemy. Not just of the Allies, but of all humanity. Seems hard to believe now, when we use terms like Soup Nazi in Seinfield, or call our political adversaries ‘Nazi’, or Hitler. It seems amazing that almost seventy years ago we knew the face of evil. And now, some chose to forget it. We have graduated to a conversation built on hyperbole. hyperbole |hīˈpərbəlē|noun exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. But we do, and this is the norm. Perhaps it is the stress of the times; the economic stress, the bombardment in the news of the the bad news, the fact that your paycheck goes fewer places or that your tax dollars go to more places than you can afford. But it is a world where the worst is standard. When was the last time you heard good news that impacted everyone. Not the human interest story. Or the success of one. But where we, as a whole, understood what it means to be understated, moderate and human. Sometimes it seems as if the whole human race, all over the planet is in need of a new graduation, the beginning again!