O Giver of life – we are here to celebrate 5 decades of life in the real world. Two score and 10 years ago the class of ’64 left the friendly confines of Wapak High on a journey full of victories and defeats, joys and sorrows, a journey that has taught us how precious each day is. We didn’t learn everything we needed to know in kindergarten, or even from Miss Hunt or Mr. Krebs or Mrs. Miller, or even from Mr. Bigelow or Coach Rose or Cappizello. We are all still students in the school of life, and we thank you for what we have learned and are learning from each other, from children and grandchildren.
Just as our long ago graduation was a commencement and not an end, this rite of passage tonight is another new beginning. It is an opportunity to share memories and laughter, to be inspired by the contributions we are making collectively and as individuals to the betterment of life on this planet. We know it is not up to us to solve the world’s problems, and that’s a very good thing; but it is up to us to be the best citizens, friends, parents, grandparents, spouses and partners we can be. Help us always use what we have learned and are learning to leave a positive legacy behind for those who follow in our footsteps.
So we celebrate the lessons learned so long ago in the classrooms and in the extracurricular activities at WHS, but also the human life skills we learned in friendships, in teamwork, in musical and dramatic presentations. We express our gratitude for the teachers and school staff who put up with us, we give thanks for the classmates and spouses who worked hard to make this weekend possible, and now we ask your blessing on the food we are about to eat and the fellowship we share around these tables.
For all that has been we say thanks, and for all that is yet to be, we say a resounding, Yes!
[Written for the Wapakoneta, Ohio High School class of 1964 50th class reunion, September 21, 2014.]